Sponsors are eager to get a foothold in Chinese sports. During the Beijing Olympics in 2008 the deals signed brought multimillions in revenue. PHOTO BY TOM CHRISTENSEN.
Corporate sponsorship is an essential aspect of modern sports. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics companies spent millions of dollars to get their names before a worldwide audience. Foreign companies found that they had to weigh the advantages of the publicity that sponsorship brings against potential backlash from activists and politicians who used the Olympic spotlight as a chance to criticize the Chinese government.