Next Sponsor for Rio; IOC Inspects Innsbruck

(ATR) A telecommunications company will be the next sponsor for the 2016 Olympics ... IOC pleased with progress on inaugural Winter Youth Olympics preparations ...

Rio 2016 Seeks Telecoms Deal, Meets Biz Leaders

The telecommunications category will be the next sponsorship for Rio 2016, says director general Leonardo Gryner.

But Gryner says the negotiation process will take longer than it did for Bradesco, the banking and insurance sponsorship announced this week. Gryner says the banking deal was covered on two pages; the telecommunications proposal runs to 100 pages, he says.

Gryner was one of a series of speakers Thursday in Rio de Janeiro where the commercial program for the 2016 Olympics was launched. Several hundred representatives of Brazilian companies and advertising agencies packed a hotel ballroom for the open-to-all briefing.

Commercial director Maggie Sanchez, hired just a few weeks ago, made her debut. She said the domestic marketing program will offer flexibility to meet the differing needs of business.

"While some want to generate business, the focus of others is the brand and [we] have those that target competitiveness. Our program offers business opportunities to take your business to another level," she said at the briefing.

"We have an experienced team to help in the activation of the brand. We will have workshops, develop networking opportunities and online resources, among other initiatives," she said.

Sanchez listed some of the major activities for Rio 2016 that could become sponsorship events: the arrival and tour of the Olympic flag in 2012, uniforms, Brazil House in London and Sochi and the creation of megastores and licensed products.

The program also included a panel of Olympic marketing experts moderated by Michael Payne. Panelists included Peter Foss of GE and Rob Prazmark of 21 Marketing.

Bradesco Prepares for Olympic Sponsorship

While Bradesco’s sponsorship begins Jan. 1, chief marketing officer Jorge Nasser says the company won’t rush into an advertising campaign.

"We are currently studying all the possibilities that this partnership brings," he said.

Nasser told the Rio sponsorship briefing thatthe company hopes its $320 million sponsorship leaves a legacy for Brazil.

"It's a unique moment in the history of Brazil," said Nasser, who noted the bank’s support of sport goes back to 1943 – in volleyball.

"Bradesco has a commitment to the sport and wants to leave a legacy. We have three pillars of activity: culture, investment in training athletes and leave a legacy of infrastructure," he said.

The bank currently has sponsorships with six national federations: swimming, rowing, sailing, rugby, basketball and judo.

IOC Impressed at Innsbruck Inspection

The IOC says Innsbruck is on track to stage a successful inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Citing progress made on the Youth Olympic Village and the venue construction following a three-day Coordination Commission inspection, the IOC said in a statement the "Innsbruck Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (IYOGOC) remains on track as it makes the transition from strategic planning to the operational phase of its preparations."

Peter Bayer, IYOGOC president, tells Around the Rings there were no complaints from the IOC about the IYOGOC’s work.

"Basically, to put it in a nutshell, they were really happy and impressed with the work we did and that makes us very happy and confident," Bayer said.

"We proved even though we are a small team we have vast know-how."

In addition to the seven Coordination Commission members, around 15 members of the IOC staff and representatives of the Austrian Olympic Committee and other Austrian stakeholders took part in the three-day inspection.

The next IOC visit is scheduled for September 2011.

Written by Ed Hula III.