SBJ/March 14-20, 2011/Olympics

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  • Citi signs on with NBC, USOC for 2012 London Games

    Two years after losing Bank of America as its banking partner, NBC and the U.S. Olympic Committee have refilled the category and then some.

    Citi last week became the official bank of NBC and the USOC for the 2012 London Games after signing a media-driven deal that sources valued at more than $30 million. It was the second partnership struck by the network and Olympic committee. They previously signed TD Ameritrade as their official online brokerage.

    Citi plans to use the partnership to promote its 200th anniversary next year. The rights included are retail, corporate, commercial and investment banking. It has not finalized its activation plans, but Citi has discussed signing athletes, activating at retail across the U.S. and doing some hospitality during the Games.

    USOC officials pointed to the Citi and TD Ameritrade agreements as evidence that the sales partnership struck with NBC last September is working. The parties, which had never before partnered on a sales effort, have secured more than $50 million in advertising and rights fees in just four months.

    “Partners are responding to the integrated marketing and media package,” said USOC Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Baird. “We’re proud of both of these [partners] 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 in 2009 declined to extend its 16-year support of the organization.

    The Citi agreement was negotiated by GroupM ESP, which recently worked with Farmers Insurance on the naming-rights deal at the future Los Angeles football stadium. GroupM ESP will activate, with help from Publicis.

    Paul Wilson, NBC vice president of Olympic sales, led NBC’s sales team, and Rob Prazmark, the founder and CEO of 21 Marketing, represented the USOC in the negotiations.

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