Atlanta-based Holiday Inn Worldwide announced that they have been named Official Hotel Sponsor of the '96 Games and Official Provider of Hotel Accommodations for the Olympic Torch Relay (ACOG). As part of the sponsorship, the hotel chain will provide rooms for the 84-day Olympic Torch relay, with the torchbearers beginning and ending each day on a Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza property. Mylle Bell Mangum, Holiday Inn Exec VP of Strategic Movement: "It builds our brand awareness. We'll be here to say welcome to the world." As part of the deal, the chain will exchange cash, rooms, refreshments and lodging expertise for the Olympic connection in sponsorship and promotions. Holiday Inn officials say the deal will not affect the supply of rooms in Atlanta (Henry Unger, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/4).
The recent addition of women's ice hockey as an event in the '98 Games has given the sport "instant credibility," according to Jody Meacham in the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. And the success that the U.S. has enjoyed in winning three silver medals in world- championship play, has made Team USA an "attractive option for sponsors." Companies that have looked into sponsoring the team: John Hancock, who underwrote the men's team's 40-game Lillehammer Olympic tuneup schedule; "several" credit card companies, AT&T, IBM and Nike. With this corporate interest, USA Hockey Assistant Exec Dir Brian Petrovek is "confident of adequate funding through '98" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 4/2).