SBJ/November 14-20, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

USA Gymnastics, AEG line up $1M in tour sponsorships

Editor's note: This story is revised from the print edition.

USA Gymnastics and AEG have secured more than $1 million in sponsorships to support a post-Olympics tour that will take the nation’s top gymnasts to more than 40 markets after the 2012 London Games.

Kellogg’s signed as the title sponsor of the tour, and Procter & Gamble and Hilton Worldwide signed as supporting sponsors.

“This is yet another opportunity for an Olympic partner to activate through a [national governing body],” said USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny. “That was very exciting not only to them and us but also the U.S. Olympic Committee.”

The tour will be known as the 2012 Kellogg’s Tour of Champions. Kellogg’s will receive national media rights, in-market promotion, in-arena signage, tickets and hospitality, sampling and local activation rights.

Kellogg’s, which signed as a sponsor of the USOC last spring, also stepped up to become a sponsor of USA Gymnastics through 2013. It joins Visa, Hilton, AT&T, P&G and Adidas in sponsoring the organization.

The USOC marketing department, led by chief marketer Lisa Baird, helped put the deal together. The organization has said in recent years that it wants to bring more deals to its national governing body partners, and it introduced Penny to Kellogg’s Olympic marketing team, which is led by Sandy Uridge.

A Kellogg’s executive was unavailable for comment prior to deadline.

USA Gymnastics partnered with AEG last spring to create a post-Olympics tour. It’s the first time the two organizations have worked together, and it will be the first tour that USA Gymnastics has played a role in organizing and promoting since 2004. Most of the facilities the tour will visit are owned by or affiliated with AEG. Organizers hope to attract more than 220,000 people.

USA Gymnastics has received commitments to participate in the tour from its most recent world championship team and has begun to work on marketing materials. It plans to begin promotions early next year.

“This tour is going to do two things: tell the value of gymnastics to young people and serve as a bridge from the London Olympics to the Rio Olympics,” Penny said. “We want to put on a show that connects with kids and showcases elite athletes who will be going on to Rio.”
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