On Thursday, the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic games announced the signing of Nissan Motor Corp. USA as an official sponsor of the '96 Summer Games. Nissan USA has committed to fund training and travel [to the games] for U.S. athletes. In addition, Nissan will provide "a fleet of vehicles" for the Olympic Village and play a "critical role" in helping transport 25,000 members of the Olympic family and the 15,000 media who cover the games" (ACOG). GM and BMW are the two other automotive sponsors of the Games.
According to an economic study by the Univ. of Georgia, the '96 Games will have created 80,000 jobs and will contribute $5B to GA's economy. The study looks at economic impact between '91 and '97 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 7/13).... With one year until the games, two of the four Olympic Village dormitories are sinking. The sinking could lead to some major structural and potential p.r. problems as the AOGC and the state try to solve the problem. A final engineering report is due soon days (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 7/13; USA TODAY, 7/14)....ACOG organizers are scaling back plans to sell 2 million personalized bricks for the Olympic Centennial Park. The new target of 1 million is also in doubt, since only 160,000 $35 bricks have been sold to date. The brick break-even mark: 748,000. Slow brick sales could lead to a potential $5-10M shortfall for ACOG (USA TODAY, 7/13)....AT&T has hired BBDO for its Olympic sponsorship campaign, expected to cost $40M (ADWEEK, 7/10).
ACOG President & CEO Billy Payne is interviewed in today's WALL STREET JOURNAL. On construction schedules and finances: "We're going to raise the amount of money -- $1.6B -- we said we would raise four years ago ... when nobody believed us." Payne, on the prospect of a surplus: "Now, if you allow me to reframe the question -- what's the extent of a cash reserve even beyond that amount [the $550M paid up front by the community]? -- we would hope there would be a small one, certainly." Payne said ticket sales were "good": "I don't want to quantify it. [But] it's been gratifying to see people really interested in some sports we historically would have considered 'lesser' sports [baseball, beach volleyball]." On concerns about marketplace "clutter" from the number of sponsors: "They're all category exclusive. ... While I am certain that every sponsor would wish there were only one or two others, I think category exclusivity is eminently more important than the number of sponsors" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/14)
With only eight days until opening events, the '95 Olympic Festival in Denver is facing a rough financial situation where "bills are barely getting paid and corporate sponsors (are) slow to pay their pledges," according to the DENVER POST. Ticket sales are currently at $1.3M, down significantly from earlier projections of $2.4M. Although sales are expected to increase, the goal still may not be reached. Organizers had hoped for a $50M boost to the local economy. Tim Leiweke, Festival Co-Chair, is credited with the recent improvement in ticket sales and corporate contributions. Some potential large local sponsors, like Coors and Pepsi-Cola, have been unable to contribute to the festival because of USOC rules prohibiting the Festival from being sponsored by a competitor of an official '96 Olympic sponsor. Leiweke: "It would have been nice if we could have done our own deals, but we just have to live with this" (Chance Conner, DENVER POST, 7/13)