SBJ/Dec. 6-12, 2010/This Week's Issue

2016 Games organizers hunting sponsors

Though the 2012 Olympics are still more than a year away, organizers of Brazil’s 2016 Games began pitching the business community last week on the marketing opportunities the Rio event will offer.

Organizers hope to provide a six-year platform to partners who sign up early. They have developed a series of events designed to deliver value to partners before the Games.

The first will be a dramatic unveiling of the 2016 Olympic logo before more than 2 million people on Copacabana beach. Subsequent plans include a yearlong Olympic flag tour throughout Brazil, a program that was first developed for the 2000 Sydney Games, and several educational programs. Partners also will receive rights to the Brazilian Olympic team and a presence in Brazil House, a hospitality center, at the London Games.

Organizers told the International Olympic Committee that they expect to raise more than $600 million in sponsorship money.

The challenge that Olympic organizers face will be the direct competition that comes from FIFA, which will hold the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. But the Rio de Janeiro group is off to a strong start.

It announced its first partnership last week with the Brazilian bank Bradesco. The deal is valued at more than $300 million and encompasses both the financial services and insurance categories.

“Brazil is off to a tremendous start, and the nature of the first deal is further validation of the Olympic opportunity and the interest in it,” said Michael Payne, a consultant to Rio 2016 and the former IOC director of television and marketing. “Most, if not all, of its marketing partners should be on board before the London Games and be able to enjoy full exposure there.”

Rio organizers have hired Maggie Sanchez to run the organization’s marketing program. She is a former a senior marketing executive at Microsoft Worldwide.

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