Dame Kelly Holmes, the 2004 double Olympic Gold medallist, believes brand sponsorship in Athletics is ‘critical’ in the sport.
Speaking to Marketing Magazine during Jaguar’s Academy of Sport event, Holmes said: “Every sport is quite different. But generally, it is quite expensive to be involved in sport.
“Everybody who starts young, like me at the age of 14, wants to be Olympic champion.
“It is critical to get the support of brands. Athletes are under a lot of psychological pressure, so the last thing they need is the pressure of not being able afford to compete. That is where sponsors come in.
Holmes also made the point that Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, two Olympics sponsors which some believe should be banned from sponsoring major sporting event, are responsible for some vital investment in athletics.
She said: “These companies put money into helping fund grassroots sports.”
McDonald’s works with the Football Association on grassroots football, supporting coaches and volunteers, while Coke has also been involved in working with grassroots sport.
by Ismail Uddin