Sponsor Spotlight -- Coke and the Paras; 2012 Sponsors Happy

(ATR) Coke to sponsor 2012 Paralympics ... London 2012 sponsors welcome progress in Games preparations ... Helios and the International Softball Federation team up

Coke Sponsors 2012 Paralympics

Coca-Cola this week extended its London 2012 sponsorship to the Paralympics.

The announcement came Friday, with the beverage giant saying its ambition is "to inspire more people to get active and help promote sport for all in the lead up to London 2012."

Daryl Jelinek, general manager of the London 2012 Coca-Cola Project Team, said in a statement: "We are proud to be extending our sponsorship of London 2012 to the Paralympic Games."

He added: "We want to be a big part of generating that inspiration and excitement on the road to 2012, using our sponsorship to motivate people across the UK and beyond to get active and to drive awareness of the Paralympics."

Coke first sponsored the Paralympics in 1992. Its Olympic partnership began in 1928 and is the longest continuous sponsorship of the Olympic Games.

London 2012 Sponsors Happy with Olympic Preparations

Sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics including Coca Cola, adidas, Dow and GE say they are happy with progress being made in preparations for the Games.

Worldwide, tier one and tier two partners of London 2012 voiced their satisfaction at a meeting of the Chairman’s Club, the collective of lead sponsor companies for the Games set up by Deloitte and Think London two years ago.

Attending the meeting were representatives of Coca Cola, Acer, Atos Origin, BMW, Dow, GE, McDonalds, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, VISA, adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF Energy, Lloyds Banking Group, Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS.

Sebastian Coe, chair of the London 2012 organizing committee, said the "sponsor family is absolutely vital to the success of London 2012".

"The Games would not be able to happen without the products, services, support and consumer programs they provide."

John Connolly, global chairman of Deloitte, said everyone who attended the meeting was struck by the progress made on the Olympic Park in east London.

"The Olympic Delivery Authority and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, working in conjunction with the Government, the London Mayor’s Office, business and other stakeholders, are clearly ahead in the delivery of the venues – in one case by months."

Connolly said LOCOG's sponsors are confident in the pace of preparations and the ultimate success of London 2012.

Dow Proudly Waves Olympic Flag

Dow Chemical isn’t bashful about its support of the IOC.

The industry giant raised the Olympic Flag on Tuesday at its headquarters in Midland, Michigan, four months after becoming the first new TOP sponsor in three years.

Similar ceremonies at Dow’s many international offices will follow later in the week.

"We look forward to joining with our employees and communities around the world in our own opening ceremonies to raise Olympic flags above our sites, signifying an exciting next step in Dow's relationship with the Olympics," Dow Olympic VP George Hamilton said in a statement.

Hamilton told Around the Rings in August he expects the partnership to yield more than $150 billion in infrastructural spending and, in turn, a minimum of $1 billion in incremental sales over the life of the 10-year deal.

Dow’s Olympic involvement began in 1980 when it donated Styrofoam insulation for use in Lake Placid’s skating rinks and bobsled runs. The chemical giant regularly sponsors U.S. Speedskating, USA Cycling and the USA Bobsled Team and was VANOC’s official supplier for the 2010 Winter Games.

The TOP sponsorship makes Dow the official chemistry company of the Olympic Movement through the 2020 Summer Games, including all Youth Olympic Games.

Team GBR Offers Joint Sponsorship Opportunity

Equestrian Team GBR is developing a new sponsorship program ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

Team GBR, which represents Britain’s Dressage, Eventing, Showjumping and Paralympic Dressage teams, will develop the program to support brand, business, employee and community needs.

"The unprecedented levels of success for Britain in Olympic sports such as cycling and rowing has delivered huge rewards for the sponsors involved in these sports and we are extremely confident that Equestrian will be one of GB’s great success stories in London," Andrew Finding, British Equestrian Federation CEO, said in a press release.

The sponsorship program will include the 2012 Games, World Equestrian Games and European Championships.

ISF Partners with Helios

The International Softball Federation has partnered with Helios, an international sports marketing consultancy. Helios will help secure sponsorships for the federation.

"Helios is a major player on the Olympic and international sporting landscape," Don Porter, ISF president, said in a press release.

"Clearly we are very serious about continuing to promote and develop our sport not only in the 128 countries where we already have member federations, but in other nations as well."

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With reporting from Isia Reaves, Ed Hula III, Matthew Grayson and Mark Bisson.

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