The Olympics wrapped up a couple of weeks ago in Rio, and Nintendo's flagship character Mario was featured in the closing ceremonies. This gave Nintendo's famed plumber substantial global exposure, as the event was watched live by nearly 17 million people and the story soon went viral on social media. While The Pokémon Company shelled out $5 million to air a commercial during the Super Bowl, Mario's big moment in the sports spotlight was free.
Speaking with Japan Today, Nintendo spokesperson Yasuhiro Minagawa revealed that Nintendo did not pay for Mario to be featured during the closing ceremonies. While Olympic sponsors will often pay millions for representation, Nintendo simply cooperated with the event's planners. Minagawa also asserted that Nintendo has no interest in becoming an Olympic sponsor.
Source: Japan Today