U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said ACOG should reimburse the Pentagon "much more" for services during the Games, according to Eunice Moscoso of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing turned into a debate "on the proper use of military personnel during the Olympics." ACOG claims to have reimbursed $169,400 to the Defense Department and is planning to pay at least $102,700 more for "nonsecurity items." But Pentagon figures note ACOG has reimbursed $564,930 for "a variety of services," which could hit $816,000. McCain said the military will have dedicated 13,000 personnel and $51M in support, calling much of it an ACOG subsidy (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/12).
This week, Home Depot breaks its "ramp-up" campaign to the Games, leveraging its $40M sponsorship in conjunction with 28 vendors. The campaign includes a 60-second image spot with two 30-second offshoots and several 30-second versions with a 10- second "donut" for product inserts. The donuts (and in-store materials) plug the 28 vendors that have signed on as partners. The spots, from Richards Group, Dallas, begin airing this week and continue through the Games (Steve Krajewski, BRANDWEEK, 6/10 issue).
Miller is sponsoring an 18-day series of concerts in Atlanta during the Games. ACOG Spokesperson Scott Mall said it won't conflict with official Olympic Sponsor Budweiser "as long as they don't use the 'O-word.'" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/12)....Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell has vetoed an ordinance that would have allowed 24-hour alcohol sales during the Games (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/12).
Suntory Water Group, whose Crystal Springs brand is the official bottled water of the Atlanta Games, is preparing for "heavy in-market" activity as the Games approach, according to BRANDWEEK. The Atlanta-based company "is ready to launch" its Heat Buster body-cooling atomizers, while some Olympic venues will get saturated by in-line skating Heat Buster teams armed with shower caps, water tanks and Super Soaker-style spray guns. Suntory President Jim Stevens sees the Games as a chance to give his regional brand a higher profile. Suntory didn't decide to go forward with their marketing plan until bottled water outsold all other beverages at the first event at Atlanta's Olympic Stadium (Gerry Khermouch, BRANDWEEK, 6/10 issue).