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Volume 24 No. 158

Olympics

     On Thursday, the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic games
announced the signing of Nissan Motor Corp. USA as an official
sponsor of the '96 Summer Games.  Nissan USA has committed to
fund training and travel [to the games] for U.S. athletes.  In
addition, Nissan will provide "a fleet of vehicles" for the
Olympic Village and play a "critical role" in helping transport
25,000 members of the Olympic family and the 15,000 media who
cover the games" (ACOG).  GM and BMW are the two other automotive
sponsors of the Games.

     According to an economic study by the Univ. of Georgia, the
'96 Games will have created 80,000 jobs and will contribute $5B
to GA's economy.  The study looks at economic impact between '91
and '97 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 7/13).... With one year until the
games, two of the four Olympic Village dormitories are sinking.
The sinking could lead to some major structural and potential
p.r. problems as the AOGC and the state try to solve the problem.
A final engineering report is due soon days (ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 7/13; USA TODAY, 7/14)....ACOG organizers are
scaling back plans to sell 2 million personalized bricks for the
Olympic Centennial Park.  The new target of 1 million is also in
doubt, since only 160,000 $35 bricks have been sold to date.  The
brick break-even mark:  748,000.  Slow brick sales could lead to
a potential $5-10M shortfall for ACOG (USA TODAY, 7/13)....AT&T
has hired BBDO for its Olympic sponsorship campaign, expected to
cost $40M (ADWEEK, 7/10).

     ACOG President & CEO Billy Payne is interviewed in today's
WALL STREET JOURNAL.  On construction schedules and finances:
"We're going to raise the amount of money -- $1.6B -- we said we
would raise four years ago ... when nobody believed us."  Payne,
on the prospect of a surplus:  "Now, if you allow me to reframe
the question -- what's the extent of a cash reserve even beyond
that amount [the $550M paid up front by the community]? -- we
would hope there would be a small one, certainly."  Payne said
ticket sales were "good":  "I don't want to quantify it. [But]
it's been gratifying to see people really interested in some
sports we historically would have considered 'lesser' sports
[baseball, beach volleyball]."  On concerns about marketplace
"clutter" from the number of sponsors:  "They're all category
exclusive. ... While I am certain that every sponsor would wish
there were only one or two others, I think category exclusivity
is eminently more important than the number of sponsors"  (WALL
STREET JOURNAL, 7/14)

     With only eight days until opening events, the '95 Olympic
Festival in Denver is facing a rough financial situation where
"bills are barely getting paid and corporate sponsors (are) slow
to pay their pledges," according to the DENVER POST.  Ticket
sales are currently at $1.3M, down significantly from earlier
projections of $2.4M.  Although sales are expected to increase,
the goal still may not be reached.  Organizers had hoped for a
$50M boost to the local economy.  Tim Leiweke, Festival Co-Chair,
is credited with the recent improvement in ticket sales and
corporate contributions.  Some potential large local sponsors,
like Coors and Pepsi-Cola, have been unable to contribute to the
festival because of USOC rules prohibiting the Festival from
being sponsored by a competitor of an official '96 Olympic
sponsor.  Leiweke:  "It would have been nice if we could have
done our own deals, but we just have to live with this" (Chance
Conner, DENVER POST, 7/13)