Are brands good citizens? London 2012.

You can almost smell the Olympic torch as it passes by in readiness for the start of the largest sporting even in the World, the Olympics in London, United Kingdom. The countdown is on not only for the athletes and the following media circus, but also for companies and brands that invested in sponsorship deals. Community and the environment seem to be top of the agenda when it comes to messages. Here are a couple of high profile examples.

McDonald’s has been a key sponsor of the Olympics since Montreal in 1976. The company has decided to extend its sponsorship deal until 2020 which would include Sochi (Russia) in 2014, Brazil 2016, Pyeongchange (South Korea) 2018, and 2020 (wherever that might be). The sponsorship fits well with McDonald’s community role, for example the company supported the volunteer programme for the London 2012 Olympics.

Coca-Cola has anchored its Olympic campaign upon the bedrock of a sustainable games. The company will place 260 new recycle bins around the City of London, and aims to recycle 11,000 tonnes of waste every day, before, during and after the games. Coca-Cola has a number of other initiatives including the Student Champions 2012 and the Olympic Torch Relay.

Other sponsors include:

Worldwide Olympic Partners: Coca-cola, Acer, Atos, Dow, GE, McDonalds, Omega, Panasonic, P&G, Samsung and Visa. London 2012 Official Olympic Partners: Adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF, Lloyds TSB. London 2012 Official Olympic Supporters: Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook, UDS.

There will be much more to say about London 2012 and sponsorship strategies over the next few months, so watch this space.