GE On The Ground In Sochi, Rio With Billion Dollar Hopes For '14, '16 Games
GE has sold two gas turbines to be used to power the Sochi Games, and the company is optimistic that sales from the '14 and '16 Olympics will rival the more than $1B in sales it amassed over the last four Olympics. GE Dir Olympic Marketing and Sports Programs Chris Katsuleres said: "Both markets are key growth areas. We believe there are real opportunities." In China, GE was able to do about $500M in sales as a result of the Beijing Games. A return to two more developing countries -- Brazil and Russia -- could offer similar sales success. GE has used its Olympic sponsorship to make its energy, health care and water treatment products the first choice for Olympic host cities looking to improve their infrastructure before hosting a Games. It sees opportunities to sell products from all three areas in Sochi and Rio. Both cities are undertaking major infrastructure projects ahead of the Olympics. Russia is building a new city along the coast to host the '14 Olympics, and Rio is planning to overhaul its transportation system before the '16 Olympics. Katsuleres said the sales team got a late start in Sochi, but the team in Rio has plenty of time to work with organizers and government officials to determine what products they need. Katusleres: "We're getting a sense of the opportunity in Pyeongchang (host of the '18 Winter Games) now, too."