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  • Sochi 2014 Set to Sign Three More Olympics Sponsors


    Sochi 2014 Olympics chief Dmitry Chernyshenko says the three new tier one sponsors will generate at least $300m (ATR/Panasonic: Lumix)
    (ATR) Sochi 2014 Olympics chief Dmitry Chernyshenko expects to unveil three new top tier sponsors by the end of June. Deals with partners in the airlines, apparel and automotive categories would be worth at least $100 million each.

    “I’m optimistic we will exceed our expectation of $100 million to generate additional income for the budget of the organizing committee,” Chernyshenko told reporters after updating the IOC Executive Board on the progress of Games plans Tuesday.

    The president and CEO of the 2014 organizers said “the biggest international car producers” – among them one Russian car manufacturer – were competing for the right to be named the automotive partner. Bosco and Adidas are vying to become the apparel partner.

    So far Sochi 2014 has generated more than $550 million from its three premier domestic sponsors: Rostelecom and Megafon are the telecommunications partners, Rosneft fills the oil category and Sberbank the banking slot.

    Chernyshenko said he has set a total domestic sponsorship target of $1 billion and claimed organizers should make a profit at the end of the Games.

    Last month, he told Around the Rings he wanted to secure all top tier sponsors by the time of the Vancouver Olympics next February. This means filling all six remaining sponsorship categories: apparel, automobile, metallurgy, gas, airline and insurance.

    Speaking about his briefing to the IOC today, Chernyshenko said he received questions from EB members on the Olympic construction budget. He gave assurances that the Russian government would step in to finance any shortfall in funding for Games projects if private investors withdrew their support.

    Those private investors who have reportedly struggled to commit investment to Olympic projects due to the economic downturn have been offered attractive credit lines with state-owned banks, he said.

    He also answered a question from the EB about plans for the test event program for the 2014 Games, which would be affected by any delay in the construction schedule. “We are starting our full test event program from 2012,” he told reporters at the media roundtable.

    Building Starts on Four Olympic Park Venues

    Russian Olympic chiefs have little over two-and-a-half years to complete venues under the fast-track construction timetable.

    Most venues are being built from scratch. Facilities in the Krasnaya Polyana mountains are well advanced but work is only just under way on four of the venues in the Olympic Park at Imeretinskaya Valley on the Sochi coastline. They are the Bolshoi Ice Palace, Maly Ice Palace, Curling Arena and Olympic Skating
    Building work on four venues in the Olympic Park at Imeretinskaya Valley, including the Bolshoi Ice Palace, is now under way (Sochi 2014)

    By the end of 2009, all facilities earmarked for the coastal cluster will be under construction, making it the biggest building site in Russia. Chernyshenko describes it as “the most complicated [building] project in our country.”

    He also commented to journalists about the change in leadership at Olympstroy, the state-run agency tasked with ensuring the nearly 250 Olympic-related construction projects are built on time. Earlier this month, the IOC alleviated concerns that building work for the 2014 Winter Games is behind schedule following the appointment of Taimuraz Bolloev as president of Olympstroy.

    But the 56-year-old founder of the Baltika beer company is the third person to head the company since November 2007.

    Chernyshenko refuted suggestions that Bolloev’s predecessor Viktor Kolodyazhny had been replaced for anything other than personal reasons. There was speculation
    IOC Coordination Commission chair Jean Claude Killy in Sochi last month. (ATR/Panasonic: Lumix)
    Kolodyazhny had been fired when he did not meet with the IOC Coordination Commission during its visit to Sochi in May. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, the man in charge of Olympic preparations, had said he was on holiday.

    In his first comments to media on the matter, Chernyshenko said only that the departure of the former leader of Olympstroy had “nothing to do with his [Olympstroy] activities.”

    “For us, I would say it is a natural process of improving the team.”

    A team of IOC construction experts will visit the Black Sea resort June 22-26 to check progress matches the master plan set for the Olympic venture. It’s the sixth visit of the group to the 2014 city.

    Jean-Claude Killy, head of the IOC watchdog for Sochi, and Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli are scheduled to survey Olympic Park building projects and other aspects of Games preparations when they visit in the second half of July.

    Chernyshenko confirmed that accommodation arrangements had been made to house up to 10,000 workers involved in venue and infrastructure projects at the peak of construction for the Games that is likely to be next year.

    Meanwhile, work continues on the new Sochi 2014 logo and corporate identity. Chernyshenko said it will be submitted to the IOC for its approval in October.

    With reporting from Mark Bisson.

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