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  • GE, IOC Deal Days Away; Progress with USOC


    GE Close to Renewing Olympic Sponsorship

    An announcement on a new eight-year worldwide sponsorship for GE could come within the next week or so. A source familiar with the negotiations tells Around the Rings the deal is “days” away.

    “We hope to reach an extension with GE shortly,” was all IOC member and Finance Commission chair Richard Carrion would say at the June 7 press conference announcing NBC as the winner of the U.S. rights to broadcast the Games through 2020.

    Unlike 2003 when NBC won the rights through 2012, a TOP sponsorship for GE was not part of this latest rights package. At that time, NBC was wholly owned by GE. With Comcast now the majority owner of NBC, GE’s stake in the broadcast company is now 49 percent.

    Included in the NBC delegation to the Lausanne TV auction, by the way, was Peter Foss, the GE executive who leads the company’s Olympic program and Games-related infrastructure sales.

    The value of GE’s sponsorship from 2005 to 2012 was not disclosed, but is believed to be in the range of $180 million. A new deal to 2020 would presumably be in the same range, if not more.

    Although the new TOP sponsorship While a public event to announce the renewal is not planned immediately.

    USOC, IOC Report Progress on Revenue Sharing

    Progress is being made towards a new revenue sharing agreement between the IOC and U.S. Olympic Committee, both sides say. The latest steps were taken at a meeting in Lausanne the morning of June 8, just hours after the IOC announced NBC as the U.S. rightsholder for the Olympics from 2014 to 2020.
    Both USOC CEO Scott Blackmun and chair Larry Probst were in the room for the TV rights negotiations. After the IOC, the U.S. Olympic Committee is the largest beneficiary of the rights fees, taking in about 13 percent. (ATR)

    “A good meeting” is how it was described.

    The IOC was represented by Marketing Commission chair Gerhard Heiberg, Finance Commission chair Richard Carrion and IOC Director General Christophe de Kepper.

    USOC representatives included chair Larry Probst, CEO Scott Blackmun and Fraser Bullock, a consultant for the USOC. Bullock is the former COO of the Salt Lake City Olympics.

    No word on when another meeting between the two sides will take place, but it could be on the sidelines of the IOC Session in Durban next month.

    The USOC had set 2013 as the deadline to reach a new agreement with the IOC, but it could be done well ahead of that time. Alone among the world’s 205 national Olympic committees, the USOC has an agreement with the IOC that earmarks 20 percent of worldwide sponsorship revenue and 12.75 percent of U.S. broadcast rights.

    The Olympic sports federations and other NOCs have been pressuring for a new revenue sharing agreement that provides for an increased share for them.

    A new agreement would not go into effect until 2020 to accommodate sponsorships and rights deals already in effect until then.

    Resolution of the revenue sharing issue is seen as an essential step ahead of a new bid for the Olympics from the U.S.

    LOCOG Said to Investigate Possible Ambush by Honda

    Marketing Magazine reports that LOCOG is investigating whether a promotional campaign by Honda featuring four British Olympic hopefuls is an ambush. BMW is the automotive sponsor for London 2012.

    The "Power of Dreams" campaign uses a website that features the efforts of the four to “showcase their talents”. Cyclist Ed Clancy, gymnast Beth Tweddle, javelin thrower Goldie Sayers and swimmer Jazmin Carlin are taking part in the campaign.

    Honda is giving each athlete a car to help them with transportation to training and competitions.

    “Experience the dedication, the passion and the triumphs. It all begins right now with a look at the outstanding achievements of these four superstar athletes so far” says the home page of the web site which does not use Olympic symbols. Mention of the word “Olympics” is limited to the brief bios of the athletes.

    Written by Ed Hula.

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