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SPECIAL OLYMPICS REBOUND WITH STRONG CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP
Published April 11, 1995
The Summer Special Olympics has "drawn a record $30-million- plus in total corporate sponsorships," according to Kate Fitzgerald in this week's AD AGE. Such major sponsors as McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Eastman Kodak, IBM, and General Motors have signed deals "allowing exclusive exposure at various levels." To boost sponsorship of the games, organizers have developed "a tough marketing game plan." Two new expo parks will offer marketers "opportunities to sample and demonstrate their products," as more than 40,000 people are expected at the expo each day of the nine-day event, to be held in New Haven beginning July 1. Another "key" was to lure marketers "whose brands are synonymous with major sporting events to lend cachet and excitement." Special Olympics Exec Dir Peter Wheeler: "We wanted to put the heat of sports marketing together with the feel-good aspect of supporting the Special Olympics ... to turn this into a much bigger event." Fleet Financial Group said the Games "form the core" of Fleet Bank's 1995 marketing campaign. Karyn Cordner, a marketing spokesperson at Fleet: "We've found about 16 different ways to market our logo through the Special Olympics, from inside our banks to our external messages" (AD AGE, 4/10 issue).