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Volume 26 No. 230
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NBCU, LA 2028 To Combine Olympic Media, Sponsorship Sales

NBCUniversal is making a “significant financial commitment to LA 2028” as part of a move that will see the two organizations -- plus the USOC -- combine media and sponsorship sales for the Olympic and Paralympic Games from '21-28 (following the Tokyo Games). “(This is not) a fake joint venture but a truly integrated offering,” said LA 2028 Chair Casey Wasserman. “It’s not that we’re contributing some inventory and they’re contributing some inventory and if it doesn't work, no harm no foul. Everyone has a stake here.” The precise size of NBC’s commitment is unknown, but a source said it covers a large portion of LA 2028’s $2.5B domestic sponsorship sales goal.

NBCU will participate in the upside of sponsorship sales gains, a source said. “It made perfect sense, with the change in marketplace conditions, for us to come together to deliver a holistic package across a massive amount of inventory related to the Olympics,” said NBCU Chair of Advertising & Partnerships Linda Yaccarino, who will lead her company's efforts. NBCU and U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Properties, the joint venture formed by LA 2028 and the USOC to control Team USA rights from ’21-28, will hire a sales team that will sell sponsorships for IP rights, product marketing, local activation and NBCU’s multiscreen coverage around upcoming Olympic Games. The venture also will support the IOC’s TOP sponsorship program.

Wasserman said he has been pushing for the collaboration for the past year because he had heard from marketers who wanted a one-stop shop to buy sponsorships and media. The deal marks a departure from traditional Olympic sponsorships, which historically have not included media buys. “Brands want to leverage the entire NBCUniversal portfolio for their benefit,” Wasserman said. “They want to be able to take advantage of the sponsorship rights we have with LA 2028, with the U.S. Olympic team and the U.S. Paralympic team. ... We’re going to create reach and certainty and simplicity.”