SBJ/Jan. 24-30, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Hilton Hotels, USA Gymnastics sign 2-year sponsorship deal

USA Gymnastics has signed a two-year agreement with Hilton Hotels, giving the national governing body its first hotel partner in more than 12 years.

The deal, expected to be announced this week, will see Hilton provide financial support to the men’s gymnastics team and amenity upgrades to the USA Gymnastics training center at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas. The hotelier will receive intellectual property rights, branding on the men’s uniforms during domestic competitions and signage at Karolyi Ranch.

Hilton sponsored eight NGBs before and during the 2006 Torino Games and sponsored USA Swimming, USA Cycling and other summer NGBs before and during the 2008 Beijing Games.

Top-tier NGB sponsorships typically are valued in the mid- to high six figures a year.

“The demographic profile of the sport and fact that they have over 100,000 members … is a nice fit for some of our different branded hotels,” said Jeff Diskin, Hilton’s senior vice president of brand management and marketing.”

Hilton’s agreement will see it pay dollars that go directly to the athletes. In return, it will have the right to feature those athletes in promotions and have its Hilton Honors logo on their uniforms during domestic competitions.

“I’m not aware of anything like this in the Olympic movement,” USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny said.
The Marketing Arm works on Hilton’s Olympic business and assisted with the USA Gymnastics deal.

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