SBJ/February 11 - 17, 2002/This Weeks Issue

Wells Fargo temporarily covers name on its own Salt Lake building

Enormous Games banners, wrapped tightly like synthetic skin, lend a dramatic look to Salt Lake City office buildings. Up to 141 feet long and 97 feet wide, they nearly cover entire faces of buildings and feature models wearing sport-specific attire, posed like Olympic athletes.

One such banner, depicting a female in the obscure Olympic sport of curling, appears on the face of a Wells Fargo bank building.

The Wells Fargo building bears a giant banner like the ones shown dotting the Salt Lake City skyline here, but Bank of America is the Olympic sponsor in the
banking category.

But, as Bank of America is the Olympic sponsor in the banking category, the "Wells Fargo" block letters have been essentially whited out by tarpaulin. Given that Spencer Eccles is not only chairman of Wells Fargo's Intermountain Banking Region, but also is a member of the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee's board of trustees, a source said there was no problem arranging a small payment by the SLOC to Wells Fargo in return for the cover-up. 

 BLIND DATES: Meeting before the start of the Games, the International Olympic Committee's executive board approved a series of deadlines in the race for the 2012 Summer Olympics. IOC Secretary General Francois Carrard told a press briefing that June 30, 2003, is the last day that national Olympic committees can submit the name of the city they have designated for the race.

That would have put Canada and Spain in an awkward position. Both countries have cities contending for the 2010 Winter Games (Vancouver is Canada's candidate; Jaca is Spain's), as well as for 2012 (Canada is poised to support a Toronto bid; Spain likely will back Madrid).

The IOC rescinded the announcement after journalists pointed out that the deadline would have forced Canada and Spain to reveal a 2012 candidate before the IOC selected a 2010 winter host in voting scheduled for July 2003. If either country wins the 2010 Games, it likely will drop its bid for 2012. On the other hand, failure to win the 2010 Games could change either country's strategy for going after the 2012 event.

  NOW APPEARING: Olympians of all generations are congregating daily at the Visa-sponsored Reunion Center near the downtown Olympic Medals Plaza.

Scheduled corporate appearances around town include: 1980 U.S. hockey Olympians Jim Craig and Mike Eruzione (for Allstate); freestyle moguls skier Hannah Hardaway (Coca-Cola); Olympic speed skating legend Bonnie Blair and track champ Carl Lewis (McDonald's); Blair, Tricia Byrnes, Hardaway, Johann Olav Koss and Ross Powers (Samsung); Tai Babilonia and Eruzione (Sports Illustrated/Time).

Past Olympic stars such as Dan Jansen, Debi Thomas and Kristi Yamaguchi are expected to make appearances, too.

  JUMBO SCREENS FOR A GIANT CAUSE: A $7.5 million infant immunization campaign under way in Ghana will get optimal visibility during the Salt Lake Games. An agreement between Olympic Aid and the IOC paved the way for public service announcements about the effort to appear on jumbo screens in Salt Lake City Olympic venues through the Games' conclusion on Feb. 24. The announcements by Chicago television producer Intersport were taped in Ghana last December. They feature visits to a vaccine drive by Norwegian Olympic speed skating legend Johann Olav Koss, who is a global spokesman for Olympic Aid. Olympic skating champion Dorothy Hamill and Olympic track champion Marion Jones also appear in the spots.

Contact Steve Woodward during the Games at SteveWoodwardHere@hotmail.com.

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