Hilton renews $10 million sponsorship with U.S. Olympic Committee

Hilton has agreed in principal to renew its sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Committee, a move that will see it extend its deal as the official family of hotels for Team USA through 2016. Sources said the company agreed to a new deal shortly before the London Games. The deal hasn’t been signed.

The USOC declined to comment. A Hilton spokesman said the company was in active discussions with the USOC and hopes to continue our longstanding relationship

Hilton has been a USOC sponsor since 2005. Its last deal, which covered the 2009-12 quadrennial, was valued at approximately $10 million overall in value-in-kind support. But the company’s return as a sponsor wasn’t guaranteed.

Last year, it signed on to sponsor the Chinese Olympic Committee. That deal gives Hilton rights to tickets and hospitality at the Olympics, which it can use as hospitality for customers and its hotel owners. That made the USOC agreement less necessary than it had previously been.

Had the hotel walked away from its deal, the USOC could have turned to Marriott as a potential replacement. Marriott has shown an interest in the Olympics during the last two years, signing sponsorships with USA Swimming and USA Hockey.

When Hilton renewed its current deal in 2008, the company’s then Senior Vice President of Brand Management Jeffrey Diskin said that internal research found a 50 percent increase among people who preferred, recommended, trusted and stayed in Hilton hotels because of the company’s Olympic relationship. He added that bookings on Hilton websites connected to national governing bodies like USA Gymnastics provided a good return-on-investment for the hotel chain.

Hilton is owned by the Blackstone Group. It has 540 locations in 78 countries. Its hotels include Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Waldorf Astoria and Homewood Suites.

Hilton works with The Marketing Arm on its Olympic sponsorships.

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