Olympic comeback – Surge in financial support

The International Olympic Committee has emerged stronger than ever financially after a season of scandal and pullouts by corporate sponsors, The New York Times reported Sept. 3.

Despite disclosures of more than $1 million in cash payments, gifts and inducements surrounding Salt Lake City’s bid for the 2002 Winter Games, organizers for the Games there have sold 40 one-time sponsorships, the Times said, including eight-figure deals with Seiko, General Motors and Anheuser-Busch, which alone is expected to pay $50 million.

The 40 deals are twice the number completed for the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

Eleven global sponsorships – deals exclusive to a business category that cover one cycle of Winter and Summer Games, as well as all 200 national Olympic committees and their teams – should bring in $605 million for the four years leading up to the 2000 Summer Games that begin in Sydney next week, compared to 10 deals worth $400 million for the period leading up to the 1996 Games in Atlanta, according to the International Events Group, which tracks sponsorships for corporate clients.

“What the Games are about is the athletes,” not about anything that happen ed in Salt Lake City long before their arrival, Michael Lynch, vice present for event and sponsorship marketing for Visa USA, an Olympic sponsor for 15 years, told the Times.

For full story, go to New York Times.

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