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  • Super Bowl Ads; Japan National Stadium Upgrade; Contador Banned


    Olympic Sponsors Showcase Products During Super Bowl

    From GE’s turbines to Coca-Cola’s iconic polar bears, Olympic worldwide sponsors had a strong showing at last night’s Super Bowl.

    General Electric used its advertising spot to show the utility of its turbines, pointing out that the technology is used to power the production of Budweiser beers. Coca-Cola brought out its well-known polar bears with a commercial featuring clumsy bears trying not to drop a cold beverage.

    Samsung promoted its Galaxy smartphone and took a jab at their rival Apple. The commercial shows people standing in front of what appears to be an Apple store, waiting for the newest phone.

    They then discover Samsung’s smartphone and are released from the line to the song, “I believe in a thing called love,” by the Darkness. Samsung and Apple have been embroiled in patent lawsuits around the world.

    Olympians Apollo Ohno and David Beckham were also featured in advertisements during the game. Speed skater and gold medalist Ohno received real estate advice in a Century 21 commercial, while the football player modeled underwear for H&M.

    In Budweiser’s “Eternal Optimism” commercial, the beer manufacturer highlighted different points in American history, including an allusion to the “Miracle on Ice”, when the U.S. defeated the Soviet Union in ice hockey at the 1980 Olympics.

    NBC Sports promoted the London Olympics during its Super Bowl pre-game coverage with a 60-second spot featuring Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Usain Bolt, Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh, Jordyn Wieber and Missy Franklin.

    To view all the different advertisements, click here.

    Contador to Miss Olympics

    Alberto Contador, the world’s best cyclist, will miss the London Olympics – and most of the top cycling events of 2012 – after the Court of Arbitration for Sport found him guilty of doping.
    Alberto Contador. (Getty Images)

    In 2011, Spanish cycling authorities cleared him of doping, but the International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency appealed the ruling and won.

    His ban is backdated, expiring on Aug. 6.

    "This is a sad day for our sport," UCI president Pat McQuaid said in a statement. "Some may think of it as a victory, but that is not at all the case. There are no winners when it comes to the issue of doping: every case, irrespective of its characteristics, is always a case too many."

    As part of the ruling, Contador will lose his 2010 Tour de France victory.

    Contador said the presence of clenbuterol was due to contaminated meat. CAS said that was “possible” but “unlikely” in Contador’s case.

    Massive Upgrade for Japan National Stadium

    Japan National Stadium in Tokyo will receive a $1 billion upgrade in preparation for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics, for which Tokyo is currently bidding.

    "We are in talks with the stadium owners and Tokyo government about it being the venue for both the World Cup and the Olympics," Japan Rugby Football Union chairman Tatsuzo Yabe was quoted by Reuters.

    "It will have seats which can be moved in when we need the track for the Olympics and back for ball games like soccer and rugby," Yabe said.

    He said costs will be "around 100 billion yen", or $1.3 billion.

    The stadium was the main venue for the 1960 Olympics.

    Embattled Official Joins FIFA’s Olympic Committee

    An official fresh off a suspension for unethical behavior is FIFA’s latest appointment to its committee organizing Olympic football tournaments for London 2012.
    Horace Burrell. (JFF)

    According to an Associated Press report, Jamaica Football Federation president Horace Burrell gets the honor despite just weeks ago completing a three-month ban handed down last October by FIFA’s Ethics Committee.

    Burrell, also vice president of the Jamaica Olympic Association, was among the two dozen Caribbean Football Union officials allegedly offered $40,000 each for their support of Qatari challenger Mohammed Bin Hammam in his failed bid to oust Sepp Blatter in last year’s FIFA presidential race.

    FIFA later doled out punishments – mostly short-term bans, small fines and warnings – to the bulk of the CFU officials. Burrell escaped without a fine but was forced to serve three months of a six-month suspension from the sport with the other three months deferred for a probationary period of two years.

    In comments to Caribbean media, Burrell has said FIFA sanctioned him for noncooperation with the ethics probe.

    Brazil Airport Concessions

    Brazilian officials auctioned off the rights to renovate three Brazilian airports ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. 

    According to Reuters, the bids were worth $14.2 billion total.

    Brazilian companies Invepar and OAS and South Africa's ACSA will renovate Guarulhos international airport in Sao Paulo. Triunfo Participacoes and Egis Airport Operation won the contract for Viracopos outside the city, and Engevix and Corporacion America will build a new terminal in Brasilia.

    Media Watch

    O Globo interviews Brazilian athletes to find out the best places to train in Barra de Tijuca, site of Olympic park during the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

    Greek sport has been in “freefall” following the 2004 Olympics and the country’s economic collapse, according to a Reuters report. The head of the Hellenic Athletic Association says the fall is "Like heaven and hell."

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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