SBJ/June 4 - 10, 2001/2012 Games The Final Bids

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA: Organizers keep tight rein on specifics of Bay bid

Specifics are hard to come by in the San Francisco area's bid for the 2012 Olympics.

Financial guarantees? Backing by insurance companies?

"We're in the process of developing guarantees," said Anne Cribbs, executive director of the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee (BASOC), the group organizing the local bid for the Games.

Fund raising?

"We continue to make progress," Cribbs said.

The bid document?

A press conference is scheduled for Wednesday, though the bid became public last Friday.

The information control — bordering on paranoia — springs from BASOC's fear of stepping on the toes of the U.S. Olympic Committee and its site-selection committee, scheduled to visit the area Aug. 20-23.

"We're being very careful," Cribbs said.

Yet BASOC continues to work quietly with potential sponsors, government agencies and sports associations.

The U.S. Open Track & Field Championships, scheduled for this Saturday at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. — one of many events that BASOC hopes will showcase the area's Olympic potential — picked up San Diego-based Peregrine Systems as title sponsor late last month.

BASOC also is keeping an eye on Sacramento plans for an Olympic-caliber cycling facility. The Sacramento Cycling Park Association hopes to host the 2003 Masters National Championships and the 2004 U.S. Olympic trials. Schuermann Architects of Germany — which drew plans for Olympic tracks in Barcelona, Mexico City, Munich and Seoul — is designing the track. HOK Sport is working on a roof design for the facility.

On the public relations front, an ad campaign developed by DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc. will be unveiled in late July or early August. It's aimed at generating excitement about a relatively low-key bid just before the site-selection committee's visit.

Meanwhile, monthly auctions on eBay — which Cribbs said could raise up to $5,000 a month — also are intended to boost awareness of the bid effort locally. The elements being auctioned include experiences with Olympians, athletes and local sports teams. Plus, Cribbs said, BASOC is working with Grassroots Enterprise, a San Francisco-based communications start-up led by former Clinton administration press secretary Mike McCurry that aims to help organizations mobilize its members.

"This really is a political campaign," Cribbs said. "This will help spread the word through the Bay Area."   

Ron Leuty writes for the San Francisco Business Times.

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