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Trade tensions put Samsung’s Olympics sponsorship in a fix

Rising trade tensions between South Korea and Japan have put Samsung Electronics in an uncomfortable position as it is a worldwide sponsor for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo next year. It is one of the 13 The Olympic Partners (TOPs) and currently the only company from Korea to be part of this group.

The Korean tech giant is reportedly analyzing the impact of this partnership on its brand image back at home. It appears to be apprehensive of the backlash it might face for aggressively promoting the mega sporting event hosted by Japan. As such, it is yet to launch any large-scale marketing campaigns even though Olympic sponsors tend to start doing that a year before the event.

In July this year, Samsung launched the Galaxy S10+ Tokyo Olympics Edition with Japan’s NTT Docomo. The company has adopted this strategy in the past as well, but this time it is reportedly not marketing the limited-edition device.

“Our sponsorship for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is already determined based on our contract in 2014 with the International Olympic Committee, and yet we cannot deny that we are somewhat uncomfortable with it,” the company is quoted as saying by Business Korea.

Samsung has been a worldwide Olympic Games sponsor in the wireless communications equipment category since 1998. Last year, the company extended the partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) until 2028.

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