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  • Sponsor Spotlight -- IAAF Inks Samsung Deal; High Hopes for Sochi


    IAAf and Samsung signed a $75 million sponsorship deal. (Getty Images)
     Track and field’s world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), announced a $25 million a year, three-year sponsorship with consumer electronics brand Samsung in Monte Carlo Tuesday, admitting to Around The Rings that the deal was clinched because the 2011 athletics world championships will be staged in the Korean manufacturers’ “hometown."

    Samsung is already heavily committed to sponsorship in a range of sports, including soccer and Formula 1 motor racing, which stages the annual Monaco Grand Prix through the streets of the principality this Sunday.

    The IAAF deal is the company's first move into track and field.

    Of nine official partners, Samsung is the fifth from Asia, with the deal agreed through the federation’s Japan-based marketing agency, Dentsu. Diack said, “This agreement is further proof of the good health of the IAAF marketing program run by Dentsu.

    “We are very proud that a top corporation such as Samsung should now become a partner of athletics. It underlines the strength of our sport.”

    Diack is confident that his federation's new partners would be won over by "the number one Olympic sport" and extend the deal beyond 2011.

    Sochi 2014 Olympic Chief Sets Ambitious Sponsorship Target

    Despite the ongoing global recession, Dmitry Chernyshenko, president and CEO of Sochi 2014, says he is aiming to secure all top tier sponsors by the time of the Vancouver Olympics next February.

    “I expect that by the Vancouver Games we will more or less conclude our tier one program and then we will continue with tier two."

    Three tier one domestic partners have already been signed up this year, with Rostelecom and Megafon joining as telecommunications partners and Rosneft in the oil category. Sberbank was recruited last month in a deal worth an estimated $110 to $130 million.

    Under the ambitious timetable, six remaining major sponsorship categories would be filled. They are: apparel, automobile, metallurgy, gas, airline and insurance.

    Speaking to reporters after last week's IOC Coordination Commission visit to Sochi, Chernyshenko said an apparel sponsor would come next with an announcement scheduled in June. Bosco and adidas are in the running.

    Once the top tier partners are lined up, Sochi 2014 marketing chiefs will work on securing around 10 second tier sponsors. Another 15 suppliers would fill third tier slots and be designated 'Sochi 2014 partners.'

    Coke Caps Promotional Torch Tour

    Coca-Cola ended its 5,095 mile, cross-Canada Sogo Carry the Flame tour in Metro Vancouver during the Victoria Day holiday weekend.
    Coca-Cola traveled 5,095 miles across Canada promoting the Olympic torch relay. (

    The Coke caravan included a display with torches from 11 previous Olympics and a chance to be photographed with the Bombardier-designed Vancouver 2010 version. Sogo is Coke’s youth-targeted social media Web site to promote physical activity, community service and recycling.

    The company announced May 15 that it would send 10 teenage contest winners from the U.S. to carry the flame in Calgary on Jan. 18-19, 2010 where they will join U.S. gymnast Shawn Johnson and tae kwon do athlete Steven Lopez, both Olympic medalists.


    …Sportswear company adidas extended their sponsorship as the official kit supplier of U.K. Athletics, Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland until 2013. The sportswear company will be more involved with the yearly UKA Major Events series. The extended deal also includes a new tailored design team kit for Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
    Doubletree by Hilton is opening a hotel in Sochi before the 2014 Olympics after a successful launch in Beijing during the Olympics. (Doubletree by Hilton Beijing)

    …Hilton Hotels have announced plans to open a third Doubletree by Hilton hotel in Sochi before the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Sochi hotel, with 200 rooms and 15 detached villas, will overlook the Black Sea and Mzimta River and is scheduled to open in 2011. Doubletree by Hilton, Sochi Adler will include an all-day restaurant and lobby bar, fitness club and conference center. Doubletree also had a successful launch in Beijing during the Olympics.

    With reporting from Isia Reaves, Steven Downes, Mark Bisson and Bob Mackin

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