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  • Sponsor Spotlight: Beijing Year to Go, Good Results from Rio


    Sponsors Host Beijing Events

    Coca-Cola and McDonald’s ring in the final year to the Beijing Olympics with events this week in the Olympic City.

    Coke goes first, with a ceremony timed for midnight as the day turns to August 8. Coke will hold its mini-spectacular to the side of the National Stadium. The so-called birds-nest is still under construction in the Olympic Green venue center in northern Beijing.
    Lenovo's torch themed laptops are not for sale yet. (Lenovo)  

    McDonald’s has scheduled an event on August 9 that will roll out some of the company’s plans for Beijing that include restaurants in the Olympic Village and other high profile locations, as well as an international crew who will run the stores.

    Computer-maker Lenovo will announce a philanthropic program funded by internet auctions of laptops carrying the Olympic Torch Relay theme. The company, along with Coke and Samsung, is one of the sponsors of the Beijing relay.

    Pan Am Plus for Sponsors

    Nearly three dozen companies in Brazil are now counting the effect of their sponsorship of the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.

    Initial reports say the sponsors appear to be happy with their results.
    A Visa kiosk at the Pan Am Games. (ATR)  

    Samsung had one of the high profiles at the games last month. The company’s presence included a large exhibition in at Riocentro featuring high-end technology.

    Health services provider Golden Cross was also visible around the venues. The company also staffed the polyclinic inside the Athletes’ Village.

    Apparel sponsor Olympikus outfitted the Brazilian delegation and set up a shoe repair station in the Pan Am Village.

    Oi, a Brazilian telecommunications company, provided wireless technology at all of the venues.

    Oil company Petrobras may have had the biggest activation program of the Pan Am sponsors. It reportedly spending $30 million on the games.

    The official sandwich of the Pan Ams came from Bob’s Hamburgers and Barra Shopping, one of Rio’s prime retail destinations was designated as the official shopping mall.

    Among the worldwide sponsors of the Olympics, Atos Origin, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, Samsung, and Visa all were involved with the Pan American Games.

    Worldwide Brand Survey puts Olympic Sponsors on Top

    The Interbrand annual survey ranks four TOP sponsors at the head of its list of the 100 most valuable brands in the world.

    Coca-Cola places first, then GE at number four, McDonald's at number six and Samsung in 21st place.

    TOP sponsors Panasonic and Kodak also make the list. Panasonic comes in at 77; Kodak at 82.

    Interbrand ranks the value of these so-called “intangible assets” by looking at each company's financial data, and by studying public recognition, opinion and other independent analysis.

    Atos Origin Expands Support to Young Brits

    Ten more British athletes will receive funding from the Atos Origin Olympic Champions and Challengers Bursary, the company announced on August 2.

    Olympians selected for the program receive direct financial support and also mentor a younger elite athlete in the same sport.

    The program is run with the support of the British Olympic Association. Atos Origin is an IOC TOP sponsor.

    Funds for Abuja Commonwealth Bid

    Oceanic Bank of Nigeria will contribute $157,000 to Abuja's bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    "[We are] very pleased with the response of corporate Nigeria to the Abuja bid. The Oceanic support is another indication that Nigerians really want the Commonwealth Games to come to Africa for the first time," said bid spokesman Patrick Ukah.

    Abuja is in a race with Glasgow for the Games. The Commonwealth Games Federation will vote on a host on November 9, 2007.

    Fights in the Family

    Kodak has filed a lawsuit against fellow TOP sponsor Panasonic for copyright infringement. The suit alleges Panasonic is manufacturing digital cameras that use Kodak’s patented image compression and storage technologies.

    Also named in the suit are Panasonic’s sister company JVC and their parent company Matsushita. 

    Kodak announced higher quarterly profit than expected on August 2, earning 45 cents per share in Q2.

    Job Cuts at Johnson and Johnson

    Pharmaceutical giant and Olympic TOP sponsor Johnson and Johnson will cut 4,800 jobs out of its total 120,000 worldwide workforce. The layoffs will affect the drugs division and the medical devices business.

    The cuts come as Johnson and Johnson struggles with the expiration of two valuable patents in the next two years.

    Homepage photo by Getty Images

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