Olympic brand worth more than $45b
THE Olympic brand has blossomed to become the second most valuable brand in the world, beaten only by computer giant Apple.
Since the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, the value of the internationally-recognised brand has increased by 87%, making it worth more than $45 billion.
The data is part of the latest Brand Finance study.
The study found the sporting brand is so big it overshadows the worth of its own major sponsors, including Samsung, Coca-Cola and GE.
Brand Finance valued everything operating under the Olympic brand through analysing the International Olympic Committee's financial statements, including broadcasting, sponsorship and ticket revenue.
The iconic sporting symbol has surpassed the wealth of the national bank in debt-stricken Greece, which is worth just $346 million.
Organisers of this year's London Olympics have come under scrutiny over their tough sponsorship advertising controls which have led to small-town businesses getting into the Olympic spirit by using slogans such as the flaming torch breakfast, being asked to stop.
Brand Finance chief executive officer David Haigh defended the Olympic committee's heavy-handed brand control.
"There is no doubt that the Olympics brand is a formidable revenue generator and has huge value," he said. "It has recently been criticised for heavy-handed brand control, however it should not be forgotten that in the current four year cycle (AUD$4.5 billion) has been generated for initiatives to develop sport worldwide.
"It is also expected to produce a net benefit to the UK economy of more than $24 billion (£16.5 billion)."
The IOC manages to operate by using less than 10% of the Olympic brand revenue, leaving the remaining billions to be investment in international sport.