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Volume 24 No. 156


     Mercedes-Benz is working on a deal that would make the
company the official import auto sponsor of the '96 Olympics, a
rights package worth an estimated $8M "in cash and in-kind
services."  The deal, which follows Atlanta Centennial Olympics
Properties (ACOP) splitting an expected $40M "mega-auto
sponsorship four ways, would be used as a platform for Mercedes to
showcase a new generation of cars, likely a much anticipated line
of sport-utility vehicles."  ACOP, unable to find a "taker" on the
$40M "Partner" sponsorship, "has shifted gears toward four
distinct auto categories":  domestic, truck or sport-utility
vehicle, import and car rental.  General Motors, "in the wake of
locking up" an estimated $40M deal with NBC's Olympic coverage,
has offered ACOP a "mere" $5M, according to sources.  Incumbent
sponsor Chrysler is also said to be in the running for the
domestic slot (Eric Hollreiser, BRANDWEEK, 10/24).