Rio 2016 Taps New Marketing Team; Former Olympic Sponsor Bankrupt; Pin Points

(ATR) Olympic marketing expert tells Around the Rings new Rio CCO is "right guy" for the job ... Australia boosts athlete funding ... Kodak files for protection ... London 2012 pin auctions populate eBay.

Rio Names "Right Guy" CCO

Olympic marketing expert Rob Prazmark tells Around the Rings that Rio 2016’s newly appointed chief commercial officer is the right man for the job.

The organizing committee announced a new marketing team this week that includes CCO Flavio Pestana, sponsorship sales director Rodrigo Frazao, partner services director Henrique Leal and head of licensing, retail and concessions Sylmara Multini.

Pestana replaces ex-Microsoft exec Maggie Sanchez, who was sacked last October over "a difference in philosophy" along with two members of her team.

Prazmark, who recently met the new marketing head and his team, expressed confidence in Rio 2016’s decision.

"I think they picked the right guy," he tells ATR. "Pestana understands marketing and sponsorship."

While Sanchez is American, the new CCO is Brazilian, and Prazmark says his nationality and his knowledge of the local market is an important factor.

Pestana was the CEO of two of Brazil’s largest business newspapers, Gazeta Mercantil and Valor Economico, as well as the Bom Dia Communication Network and the Diario de Sao Paulo newspaper.

Prazmark underscored the importance of the entire team as well and said they are committed to maximizing and protecting sponsorship rights. "It’s not just about [Pestana], it’s about the whole team."

Leal has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising and worked with agencies like Ogilvy as well as Young & Rubicam. Multini worked as a licensing director with Warner Bros Latin America before joining Rio 2016.

"Hiring a professional of the highest caliber such as Flavio Pestana and the other new members of the commercial department ensures the confidence and reliability we need to conduct such a record-breaking sponsorship program and develop new revenue generating programs for staging memorable Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016," organizing committee president Carlos Nuzman added in a statement.

Australia Boosts Athlete Funding

Australia has increased funding for athletes training for the upcoming summer Olympics in hopes the funds will give them the extra push needed for medals.

"The money can be used in a variety of ways but ultimately it is aimed to make a difference," Australian chef de mission Nick Green was quoted by the Australian Associated Press.

"Whatever discipline or sport it is, it's aimed for athletes to fine tune their preparation which may make a difference between being fourth and maybe winning a medal.

"I get a sense that the team is on a wave of positive momentum which we hope will transfer into a better medal tally at the end of London," he added.

Former TOP Sponsor Files for Bankruptcy

Kodak, a former TOP Sponsor and once one of the world’s leading companies, filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday.

Long known for its film products, occupying that category for its Olympic sponsorship through the 2008 Olympics, the company failed to adapt to changing consumer needs and digitization.

According to Bloomberg News Agency, Kodak’s filings in U.S. bankruptcy court list assets of $5.1 billion and debts of $6.8 billion.

Kodak was founded in 1880.

Pin Points

… There are just over a thousand eBay auctions for London 2012 pins at the moment.

The highest priced item is a "Rare London 2012 Olympic Coins Stamps and Pins Collection" selling for $298.

The collection includes 30 stamps by Royal Mail, 29 50-pence coins by Royal Mint and eight London 2012 emblem pins.The collection is said to be rare because it’s sold in a limited edition of 100,000 sets …

… The 5th Unofficial London 2012 Pin Traders Pin Meet is Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m in the Stadium Suite, 3rd Floor, John Lewis, Westfield Stratford City. For more information on this event, visit London pin expert Paul McGill’s website …

Media Watch

The BBC has a tour of the new anti-doping laboratory for the London Olympics.

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports on the ongoing pacification of the slums in Rio de Janeiro.

PyeongChang is home to "hwangtae", air-dried Pollack. Visitors to the 2018 host city will see thousands of the fish hanging up to dry before entering the city. The Korea Times has a story about the delicacy.

The Associated Press reports on football’s efforts to stamp out racism from the game, and how it may not be successful in its efforts.

What's Ahead ...

... the latest images from the Innsbruck 2012 Youth Olympic Games in our On-the-Scene Photodesk, Friday 5 p.m. EST and 10 p.m. GMT ...

... the latest news from Olympic sponsors, suppliers and other such stakeholders in Sponsor Spotlight, Saturday 9 a.m. EST and 2 p.m. GMT ...

... the latest job openings, Olympic-themed contests and more in Golden Opportunities, Sunday 12 a.m. EST and 5 a.m. GMT ...

Written byAnn Cantrell, Ed Hula III and Evan Owens.

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