Sportlotto Company was appointed an official partner of the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in the category of "traditional lottery gaming programs." Sportlotto will be able to use its partner status and combined logos in its marketing and communications. More than 100 million tickets will enter the draw with the chance of winning 10M rubles ($306,000). Lottery tickets will go on sale in September (Sochi 2014).
BRAND IMAGE: A study commissioned by Havas Sports & Entertainment shows that the London Games "has already led to substantially stronger brand image and purchase intent." Perceptions of brand image are on average 25-50% more positive across a representative selection of tier-one and tier-two London Games sponsors included in the study. Those aware of a brand's Olympic sponsorship are on average 50% more likely to find a sponsor brand "inspiring" and "trustworthy," and 25% more likely to view a sponsor as "world-class" or "admired" (Havas Sports & Entertainment).
DRIVE ON: In Beijing, Xu Xiao reported that BMW, a six-year exclusive automotive partner of the Chinese Olympic Committee, is "holding a series of Olympic activities to welcome the 2012 London Olympic Games." As the global sports gala gets underway, the latest sales figures show that "China became BMW's largest market in the world" this year, despite an overall downturn in the Chinese auto market. At the London Games, the BMW brand and the MINI brand will sponsor the Chinese fencing, sailing, snowboarding and freestyle skiing Olympic teams (CHINA DAILY, 7/23).
NORTH KOREAN VISIT: The AFP reported Seoul's unification ministry revealed a South Korean official will visit North Korea this week to "discuss the possible broadcast" of the London Games there. An official said that Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union President Kim In-Kyu will visit Pyongyang "from Tuesday to Thursday for talks" with the North's radio and TV broadcasting committee. Spokesperson Park Soo-Jin said that the ministry, which handles cross-border affairs, authorized Kim's visit after Pyongyang "invited him to discuss such broadcasts" (AFP, 7/23).
ANGRY REACTION: YONHAP NEWS reported North Korean table tennis officials "reacted angrily" to South Korean journalists who tried to take pictures of their practice ahead of the upcoming Olympic Games. As South Korean photographers started capturing the players in action, a North Korean official threw a towel in their direction and yelled, "Don't shoot. Why can't you Koreans understand Korean language? You're not supposed to shoot us before the tournament. If you keep doing this, we will not sit idly by" (YONHAP NEWS, 7/23).
HEAVY SPENDING: The Rio de Janeiro government will pay R$2.3M ($1.1M) to "guarantee the presence" of Governor Sergio Cabral and 13 state representative in the London Games. The Rio government signed two contracts with tourism agency Tamoyo y Turismo to take Cabral's committee to the Games (UOL.com.br, 7/23).
TAKEOFF: In Auckland, Grant Bradley reported that Australian airline Jetstar will offer 120 domestic fares at $12 for every Olympic medal the Kiwi team brings home (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 7/23).