Sponsor Spotlight -- IOC Sponsorship Chief Recovering; BT British Olympic Ball

(ATR) IOC sponsorship chief Gerhard Heiberg recovers from a heart attack ... London partner BT will sponsor this year’s British Olympic Ball

IOC marketing boss Gerhard Heiberg tells Around the Rings he is doing fine after Thursday’s heartsurgery and will be back at work on Monday.

Heiberg is chairman of the IOC’s marketing commission as well as Norway’s only IOC member. He also served as president of the organizing committee for the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Games.

"I am doing fine after a minor surgery. Looking forward to seeing you in London," Heiberg said, referencing the April 5-6 IOC Executive Board meeting.

Norwegian news reports indicate the 71-year-old IOC member was on ski holiday in the mountains Thursday when he fell ill and underwent surgery at an Oslo hospital. He expects to be released over the weekend.

BT Sponsors British Olympic Ball

London partner BT will sponsor the BT British Olympic Ball. The pre-Olympic ball is a fundraiser for Team GB athletes.

"As Title Partner of the British Olympic ball, BT is making an important difference to Team GB athletes by helping to ensure they have the resources and support necessary to perform at their very best in London 2012 and beyond," Clive Woodward, BT British Olympic Ball Chairman, said in a press release.

The ball will be held Oct. 7, 2011 ahead of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony in the Grand Hall, Kensington Olympia.

Ludus Tours Partners with USA Water Polo

USA Water Polo is the newest partner for travel company Ludus Tours.

Ludus Tours will partner with USA Water Polo for its participation in the 2011 FINA World Championships.

USA Water Polo members, fans, family and friends will receive discount packages for the event in Shanghai, China. A $5,000 Ludus Sports Scholarship Grant also will be awarded to a USA water Polo member.

"We are excited to welcome Ludus Tours to the USA Water Polo family. They will be providing an invaluable service that will facilitate and enhance the travel experiences of our members, fans, friends and family, as they support our exceptional Men’s and Women’s National Teams," USA Water Polo CMO Jen Rottenberg said in a press release.

Briefs…

…BMW is the title sponsor the USA Track & Field Championships. The championships will take place this weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

…Molson Canadian has signed on as the official beer of the National Hockey League starting in the 2011-2012 season. The deal is reportedly worth nearly $400 million.

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