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  • Sponsor Spotlight : IOC Opens Talks with Gazprom


    (ATR)  Gazprom Talks Open in Moscow

    Marketing commission chairman Gerhard Heiberg tells Around the Rings the IOC met with executives from Russia energy company Gazprom two weeks ago. He says that the “low profile” meeting in Moscow was part of the groundwork necessary to see if Gazprom and the IOC would be suitable partners.

    Heiberg says the IOC entourage included himself, marketing director Timo Lumme and Davis Butler from Olympic Marketing Services, the IOC agency for sponsor services.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin put a Gazprom sponsorship into play last year during a dinner with IOC President Jacques Rogge. Because Sochi was a candidate for the 2014 Winter Olympics at the time, Rogge told his host that while the interest was appreciated, nothing could be done until the end of the 2014 race. With Sochi the winner, Gazprom’s ardor to become the first Russian worldwide sponsor for the IOC cannot be ignored.

    State-owned Gazprom is Russia’s number-one company, with turnover estimated in the range of $30 billion. The company is the largest natural gas extractor in the world and is expanding its investments outside Russia.

    “We will see what happens,” says Heiberg about the next steps that might be taken towards a deal with Gazprom. “A few months” is the timeframe he has set for developments.

    Samsung Faces Travails of Inquiry

    Prosecutors raided a Samsung computer center Sunday, the third in a series of searches being conducted into charges the company maintained a secret slush fund. A former Samsung attorney has claimed that the fund was used to influence judges and politicians.

    The raids began on Friday at offices of Samsung Securities following concerns that evidence was being destroyed.

    The investigation does not involve the company’s Olympic sponsorship, but it remains to be seen if chairman and IOC member Kun Hee Lee will be dragged into the controversy.

    China Bricks Three and Four

    Two more Chinese companies have added a brick to the Donors’ Wall at the Olympic Museum, each in a deal worth $1 million.

    Aigo – a subsidiary of Beijing Huaqi Information Digital Technology Company – got its brick last week. The Aigo company is best known for mp3 players and portable digital storage devices.

    Aigo CEO Jun Feng, China ambassador to Switzerland Bangzao Zhu and IOC Honorary President Juan Antonio Samaranch joined the Nov. 22 Lausanne ceremony.

    The Bank of China is sponsoring the country’s fourth brick, which was dedicated in a ceremony this week.
    Chinese companies Baosteel and Sinopec are also Olympic Museum sponsors, each with a brick in the wall. (ATR)
    The official banking partner of the 2008 Games is one of the country’s four major banks, and the world’s eighth largest bank in terms of market capitalization.

    BoC Chairman Xiao Gang and IOC member from China He Zhenliang were on hand for the ceremony.

    IOC president Jacques Rogge and Olympic Museum Director Francis Gabet attended both dedications.

    Sports Commercial Advertising

    Worldwide sponsor Anheuser-Busch spends more money on sports marketing than any other company in the U.S., according to a new study by The Nielsen Company.

    A-B spent $141.6 million last year on television advertising during sports. The figure accounts for 80 percent of all A-B television spending in the U.S.

    Coca-Cola spent $62 million, or about 40% of its total ad budget. Coke came in eighth on the list.

    McDonald’s came in at 16th. The fast food giant spent $46 million, or 16% of its total budget for TV advertising.

    Adidas Art Exhibit

    Adidas has partnered with the Singapore-based Opera Gallery and other museums in China to produce the exhibition “Gong Zhen: Sport in Art”. The exhibit will feature artwork by 70 artists from around the world. The gallery opened in Shanghai this month, and is expected to arrive in Beijing by the 2008 Olympics.

    Puma Kit for Rwanda

    Puma will again dress Rwanda’s Olympic athletes, according to the Rwanda National Olympic Committee.

    The RNOC revealed the deal only last week, though it has been in the works for nearly a year, according to Rwanda media.

    The NOC declined to reveal the value of the deal; the green, blue and yellow uniform design has already been approved. Puma also provided kit for Rwanda’s 2004 Athens delegation.

    Bell Canada Gives Away Mascot Pins

    Bell Canada, a national sponsor for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, gave away 15,000 pins of the Vancouver mascots on Thursday.

    Loring Phinney, vice-president for corporate marketing at Bell Canada, said, “We have 15,000 pins, and we take the limited availability seriously. This is all we are going to produce.”

    Fast Radios Announces Luge Partnership

    Fast Radios will supply USA Luge with radios, microphones and other necessary accessories as the new official supplier of two-way radios to the national federation.

    National Guard to Sponsor USA Rugby

    USA Rugby announced on Wednesday the union signed a contract with the National Guard. The deal allows for the National Guard to have naming rights to the national team and university and youth championships.

    “This is great news for the sport of rugby in the U.S.,” says USA Rugby Vice President of Business Development David Voth. “USA Rugby is always looking for the right kind of partner.

    The partners will announce more initiatives during the 07-08 rugby season.

    Written by
    Ed Hula, Ed Hula III and Maggie Lee

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