SBD/March 11, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

NBC, USOC Sign Citi To $30M Deal As Official Advertiser, Sponsor Of '12 Games

NBC and the USOC have signed Citi as an official advertiser and sponsor for the ‘12 London Games. Sources valued the media-driven deal at $30M. The bank will be the official bank partner of the network and the ’12 U.S. Olympic team. Citi plans to use the partnership to promote its 200th anniversary next year. Its rights include retail, corporate, commercial and investment banking. The deal is the second of three NBC and the USOC hope to cut in the banking category. The parties recently signed TD Ameritrade as an official online brokerage. They are working to find a wealth management partner as well. This is the first time NBC and the USOC have partnered to sell an integrated package that includes media and marketing rights, and USOC officials are encouraged by the results of the collaboration. USOC CMO Lisa Baird: “Partners are responding to the integrated marketing and media package. We're proud of both of these coming on and doing so in quick time is evidence this is working.” The USOC has been without an official bank since Bank of America declined to extend its 16-year support of the organization in ‘09. The Citi agreement was negotiated by GroupM, which recently worked with Farmers Insurance Group on the naming-rights deal at the prospective downtown L.A. stadium. GroupM will activate, with help from Publicis. NBC VP/Olympic Sales Paul Wilson led NBC's sales team and 21 Marketing Founder Rob Prazmark, who helped put together NBC and USOC last fall, represented the USOC in the negotiations (Mickle & Lefton, SportsBusiness Journal). In Colorado Springs, Brian Gomez notes most top USOC sponsorships "bring more than $10 million over four years," but the Citi deal "carries a higher price tag despite a shorter timeframe because of the NBC ad buys." Baird called the agreement a "significant deal" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 3/11).

MAKING A COMEBACK: In N.Y., Ken Belson notes the U.S. federal government has recouped the $45B it lent Citi during the recession, and Citi Exec VP/Global Public Affairs Ed Skyler said, "Sponsoring the team is a great way to express our gratitude to the American people for their support, not just over the last three years, but our 200-year history. Comebacks happen in business just like they do in sports." Citi can renew the sponsorship deal with the USOC beyond the London Games, "but not necessarily in this format" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/11).
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