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Volume 7 No. 149


German insurer Allianz on Tuesday agreed to become a global Olympic sponsor "for a four-Games period" from '21-28 as the latest addition to the IOC's top-tier sponsorship program, according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. Allianz, "eager to access the Games' young global audience and wider sports community," will have its logo used at the Summer Olympics in Paris in '24 and L.A. four years later, as well as the Winter Games in '22 in Beijing and in '26. The insurer, which will become the IOC's 14th TOP sponsor, will have marketing rights in China, France and Spain from '19. Financial details of the deal were not released but the IOC was reportedly seeking around $50M per year (REUTERS, 9/18).

Italy's "three-pronged bid" for the 2026 Winter Olympics was reduced to a two-city candidacy featuring Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, according to the AP. Following Turin's exclusion, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) is sending a delegation featuring Milan and Cortina representatives to meet with IOC leaders on Wednesday. The move comes after government undersecretary and sports delegate Giancarlo Giorgetti told the Italian Senate on Tuesday that the three-city proposal "is dead." Turin's exclusion follows "infighting" between Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala and Turin Mayor Chiara Appendino, "who had been arguing over the bid's leadership and naming rights." A joint statement released by Veneto Region President Luca Zaia and Lombardy Region President Attilio Fontana said, "The candidacy needs to be saved, so we're open to moving forward together. If Turin is withdrawing, which upsets us, at this point two realities remain, and they are called Veneto and Lombardy. So we are moving forward with the Lombardy-Veneto Olympics." Under the revised plan, ice hockey and speedskating -- which "had been slotted for venues built for the 2006 Turin Games" -- would be held in Milan. Alpine skiing would be held in Cortina, "while biathlon would be slated for nearby Anterselva -- a regular stop on the biathlon World Cup circuit" (AP, 9/18).