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JAPANESE CITY READY TO OFFER ITS "TRADITION AND CULTURE"
Published February 2, 1998
In a "marked contrast to the garish commercial scene" in Atlanta, in Nagano, "other than the colorful assortment of Olympic flags dangling from light poles, there are virtually no advertisements on display," according to Shipley & Sullivan of the WASHINGTON POST. Japan "intends to display its unique traditions and culture in a tasteful setting" during the Games (WASHINGTON POST, 2/1). IS NAGANO READY? In an interview with NEWSWEEK, NAOC Dir General Makoto Kobayashi said, "I have no concerns. We are ready." Kobayashi, asked if he would ever take the Dir General job again: "No, no, never. I would turn it down" (NEWSWEEK, 2/9 issue). IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch called the Nagano Main Press Center "one of the best I've ever seen in my life" (KYODO NEWS, 1/29). In Toronto, William Houston, on the media's set-up: "Broadcasters are raving about the facilities. ... Networks' needs and request were met. Everything works" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/31). In Montreal, Jack Todd: "A week before the start of the Nagano Games, things are already running better then they did in Atlanta at the time of the closing ceremonies. The phones work. The computers work" (Montreal GAZETTE, 1/31). NOTES: Traffic in Nagano remains a concern for organizers (KYODO NEWS, 2/2)....The IOC reports that sponsorship for the Nagano Games totals $212M, or 27% of the overall $780M revenue (AP/PHILA. INQUIRER, 1/31). SPONSOR SUPPORT: BUSINESS WEEK features a "Special Report" on the Olympic Games and Neff, Echikson et. al. write that "most corporate sponsors profess great satisfaction with their Olympic connection." TOP sponsor John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance was soured over the commercialism in Atlanta, but President David D'Alessandro said, "Both the Japanese and the Australians have gone out of their way to learn the lessons of Atlanta." BUSINESS WEEK adds, "Despite the risks, the number of sponsors-in- waiting and communities eager to play host is growing" (BUSINESS WEEK, 2/9)....The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Raju Narisetti profiles IBM's Nagano program, as the company will end up spending about $100M for the 17-day event and looks to bounce back from the "black eye" it suffered in Atlanta. Ogilvy & Mather will create 10 TV spots that tie IBM's role to athletes in the games (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/2). WILL PEACOCK LIE LOW? CNBC's Jerry Cobb: "Some say NBC is trying especially hard not to compete for the Olympic audience in order to help CBS score high ratings. Those numbers could be of big help for NBC when it sells ad time for its broadcast of the Winter Games in 2002." TV Guide's Max Robins: "I don't think there's some kind of grassy knoll conspiracy going on here, that they're just going to roll over and play dead so that they can do well with the Winter Games next time around" ("The Edge," CNBC, 1/30). POINT, CLICK AND SCORE? AD AGE examines Web tie-ins to the Nagano Games. CBS SportsLine is spearheading "one of the largest online efforts," and among sponsors of its Olympic coverage are A-B, AT&T, Bugle Boy Industries, Ford Motor, IBM, Shell Oil, Visa USA, Xerox and Sony. SportsLine would not reveal the cost of its sponsorship, but "it's believed that they're in line with the price of its ad banners, which sell for $35 per thousand impressions." While not spending on Web advertising during the Games, Nike will focus its Olympic coverage on Nikebiz.com site where it will offer athlete information (AD AGE, 2/3 issue).