Advertising Philips Radio at the 1948 London Olympic Games

Striking illustrated advertising commemorating the games

colour illustration of a Philips advert showing cyclists
by
Adrian Murphy (Europeana Foundation)

Today we're very used to seeing corporate sponsorship of sporting events - but the practice goes back to before the 20th century.

Individual Olympic Games have had sponsors since the very first Olympics in Athens in 1896 when companies paid for advertising. However, it was not until 1980s that the Olympics made global sponsorship deals.

In 1948, the Olympic Games were held in London, the first since the end of World War II.

Dutch electronics pioneers Philips had won the contract to install the audio systems at these Games - as well as later in Helsinki (1952) and Melbourne (1956).

Philips: illuminating the world from Eindhoven

Marking the occasion, these six bright and colourful advertisements for Philips Radio commemorate the 1948 Olympic Games.

EXPLORE MORE: Olympic Games posters and graphic design gallery
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