But the Games are a good fit for such companies as Campbell Soup, which is slapping the Olympic rings on every can of chicken noodle soup it sells.
"The Winter Games clearly is the right time of the year to be selling chicken noodle soup," said John Faulkner, Campbell's director of corporate and brand communications.
The Winter Games also are a good fit for advertisers in the process of unveiling new corporate messages. Bank of America is using its Olympic sponsorship as an anchor for a yearlong, $60-million advertising campaign for credit and check cards, online banking and its home mortgage business.
Not every sponsor wants to share the media spotlight that an Olympic sponsorship creates. SchlumbergerSema isn't as well-known as fellow worldwide Olympic sponsors Coca-Cola Co. and Kodak. But the company that has replaced IBM as the International Olympic Committee's official information technology supplier will stay behind the scenes during the Games and broadcasts.
Despite the wealth of corporate sponsors, the Olympic movement can't rest on its laurels.
"Sponsors clearly want more," said Lloyd Ward, chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee. "During the 17 days of the Winter Olympics, you see some of the greatest sponsorship riches you'll ever see."
What Ward envisions is the long-running opportunities that, say, college basketball gives to sponsors during a long, regular season that culminates in the high-profile March Madness national championship tournament.
"Seventeen days clearly isn't enough juice," Ward said. "The opportunity is there to create additional venues [for sponsors] on the road to the Beijing Games  and the Athens Games ."