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Volume 24 No. 156
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Olympic Marketing Notes: IOC TOP Sponsors Hesitant To Give Up Crisis Plans

USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz noted with the threats of terrorism surrounding the Sochi Games, he reached out to all 10 IOC TOP sponsors "to discuss their crisis plans, but only two responded." Omega President Stephen Urquhart in an e-mail wrote, "We've adapted our program to fit the special needs of Sochi." McDonald's Dir of Global External Communications Becca Hary: "A full security plan is in place. ... We can't share the details of the plan for security reasons" (USA TODAY, 2/6).

GOLD OR GO HOME? In Miami, Linda Robertson notes U.S. snowboarder Shaun White by withdrawing from the slopestyle competition managed to "cut his losses and protect his brand." White "played it savvy -- not usually an admired attribute in the go-for-the-gusto snowboarding subculture" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/6). ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "If you're Shaun White, you just go to win Golds to protect your $20 million empire" ("PTI," ESPN, 2/5). ESPN's Jackie MacMullan said if you're White "you just need one" Gold Medal around your neck at the Sochi Games "for all those endorsement opportunities to continue to flood in." The N.Y. Daily News' Frank Isola: "He's looking at it from a marketing standpoint. He wants that Gold Medal because the Gold Medal will lead to a pot of gold at the end of the Olympics for him" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 2/5).

: In Albany, Rick Karlin noted New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and former N.Y. Assemblyman Scott Stringer late last year "wrote to 10 global companies that are among the sponsors of the Sochi winter games, asking them to ensure that their gay rights policies remain in force in Russia." Five companies "responded with rather anodyne, bland comments about how they are committed to human rights." But Switzerland-based Swatch "fired back, urging DiNapoli and others to look instead at the U.S. policies, especially the recent spying/eavesdropping controversies that have enveloped the National Security Agency" (, 2/5).

THE PARTY'S OVER: TMZ SPORTS reported Budweiser has "decided to NOT throw its traditional Winter Olympics party this year ... because the company is not comfortable with the situation in Russia." A source confirmed "there will be no Club Bud in Sochi" (, 2/5).