Olympic advertisers score gold, in left-wing advocacy

Chris Walker Executive Director, 2nd Vote
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The 2014 Winter Olympic Games are well underway in Sochi, Russia. Medals are being handed out, world-class athletes are competing, and reams of tweets are emanating from the small Caucasian city, most at the expense of Bob Costas. It’s all part of the two-week celebration where athletes from 88 different countries will be competing in front of an expected audience of 3 billion people worldwide.

While all of those eyeballs will be fixated on top-level competition in 15 different sports, they will also be flooded with over a billion dollars in advertisements in the U.S. alone.  NBCUniversal reportedly paid $775 million for the television rights to show the Winter Olympics in the U.S. and a recent AdWeek report stated that revenues for showing those games could top over $1 billion domestically for the company. Advertisers paying those big bucks include mega-corporations like Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, GE, McDonalds, Panasonic, Omega, Proctor & Gamble, Samsung and Visa.

How are those companies able to shell out a collective billion dollars? Because we shop with them each and every day, and we typically don’t take the time to see whether or not those companies share our values. It made our organization wonder, what else are these companies spending that type of money on?

While these companies are funding our athletes in the arena of winter sports, we hope you’ll also consider what they’re funding in the arena of ideas and advocacy. To help connect the dots, 2nd Vote is posting special Olympic editions of our “Business in Focus” feature on the 2nd Vote Blog every day during the Olympics. We are taking an in-depth look at Team USA worldwide and domestic sponsors in an effort to highlight which sponsors share your values, and which ones don’t.

For example, while NBC-Universal has paid three quarters of a billion dollars to show the Olympics, they and their corporate leadership are also using your money to fund left-wing issues and groups.

For instance, you might find it interesting to know that NBC-Universal partners with the Nature Conservancy, an organization that supports cap-and-trade legislation. The Comcast Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal has given consistently to Girls Inc., an organization that supports abortion and they have also given to United Way, which has funded Planned Parenthood programs.

Since 1997, the Chairman and CEO of Comcast, Brian L. Roberts, has given 76 percent, or $199,800, of his political contributions to Democrat candidates or committees. The Comcast Corporate PAC however has given equally to both Republicans and Democrats in the 2014 election cycle. In total, they have given $425,500 to Democrat candidates and $420,000 to Republican candidates this cycle.

Those kinds of contributions are only possible because we as conservatives and libertarians have not been paying attention. And that is only the beginning.

McDonald’s funds and partners with a number of environmental activist organizations that support cap-and-trade, including Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, and the Environmental Defense Fund. Coca-Cola actively works with liberal activist groups like the Human Rights Campaign, having earned a gold level partnership with the organization which requires an annual pledge of $100,000. Dow Chemical has received a 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign’s “Buyer’s Guide” and they also support Tides, an organization that partners with funders to support efforts “to shift the landscape” on same sex marriage.

It can be overwhelming to see just how left-leaning these corporate sponsors are, but for right-leaning consumers, it is important to know all the facts. As your family watches the thrilling action on the ice and in the snow, make sure you check out the 2nd Vote app and learn about the companies that are spending hundreds of millions to help bring the action to you.

Chris Walker is the Executive Director of 2nd Vote.