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Volume 7 No. 149

Olympics

Citi, which sponsored U.S. Olympic teams from '11-16, began talking to the IPC about the Paralympics in '12
Photo: CITI

Citi has signed a two-year sponsorship deal with the Int’l Paralympic Committee, re-entering the Olympic-Paralympic world two years after its USOC rights expired. Citi becomes the third company at the mid-tier “international level” with the IPC, which gives it rights to the IPC brand and 18 Paralympic committees in countries where the bank has a significant workforce. That does not include the U.S. since the USOC does not sell Paralympic rights separately. Terms were not disclosed. Citi, which sponsored the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams from '11-16, had been talking to the IPC about a bigger play in Paralympics since '12, said company Managing Dir of Corporate Sponsorship & Marketing Tina Davis. It is a “mission-driven” sponsorship, not one designed to see “how many times we can get someone to pull out their payment card,” she said. “People don’t think of banks as having hearts and this is a partnership that has a lot of heart in it, which is important to the individual people who work at Citi,” Davis said. The bank expects to activate in each local market, focusing on chances to get local workers involved as volunteers with Paralympic sports, in particular those that service military veterans. Countries in which Citi now has exclusive retail bank rights to the Paralympic teams include Australia, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and the U.K. It has agreed to share rights with the Bank of Dubai in the UAE.

NOT QUITE TOP TIER: The IPC’s int'l tier is a step below the worldwide sponsor level, where companies such as Toyota and Visa enjoy comprehensive global rights. IPC President Andrew Parsons in a statement said he looks forward to working with Citi to better promote “how our work transforms society and drives social inclusion.” The deal expires in '20. Citi would have liked to sign a longer deal, but the IPC and IOC are merging their rights management after the '20 Tokyo Games and the future is uncertain. CSM advised Citi on the deal. Citi expects to build a U.S. Paralympics program by sponsoring individual athletes and some NGBs, Davis said.