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Volume 21 No. 1


U.S. Olympic Committee sponsor Kellogg’s last week announced a roster of nine Olympians and Sochi 2014 hopefuls that it will feature in marketing and promotions around the Sochi Games.

The company signed snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, 1980 U.S. hockey team member Jim Craig, freeskier Torin Yater-Wallace, ice skaters Meryl Davis and Charlie White, skeleton’s Noelle Pikus-Pace, Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy and Paralympic skier Heath Calhoun.

The endorsements follow a recent sponsorship that Kellogg’s signed with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association.

In other Olympic-related news last week, CoSport, the Olympic ticket sales company known in the U.S. as Jet Set Sports, announced that it will put individual tickets to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on sale today. Ticket prices start at $22. Physical tickets will be available in January 2014.

Jet Set Sports is an official sponsor of the USOC and its authorized ticket seller. It also sells tickets in Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Great Britain, Norway and Sweden. In addition to individual tickets, Jet Set sells corporate hospitality packages.

Jet Set Founder Sead Dizdarevic said demand for those packages was slightly higher than what the company saw for the 2010 Vancouver Games and five times greater than what it saw for the 2006 Torino Games. Much of that demand is coming from Russia and Scandinavia.

— Tripp Mickle

Chicago-based building products manufacturer USG Corp. has signed on to sponsor Team USA ahead of the Sochi and Rio Games.

USG didn’t return calls seeking comment, and the U.S. Olympic Committee declined to comment. But two industry sources said that the deal is expected to be announced later this year and that USG had begun exploring how it could leverage the USOC’s logo and assets in business-to-business marketing efforts.

Financial terms of USG’s multiyear agreement were unavailable.

The deal with the building products manufacturer comes as the USOC is renovating its Olympic Training Center (above) in Colorado Springs.
The deal comes as the housing market continues to show signs of improvement and USG’s stock rebounds from a 52-week low of $9.60 last year. It closed at $27.96 last Thursday.

It also comes as the USOC embarks on a $16 million renovation and expansion of its Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The organization is planning to give the facility, which was built in 1977, an updated exterior and add new facilities such as an indoor weight-training area and a new athlete-teaching kitchen. It also plans to add meeting spaces, offices and a multipurpose classroom.

The sponsorship deal ensures that the project will incorporate some of USG’s flagship construction products such as Sheetrock gypsum panels and Durock cement boards. The company also makes roofing panels, suspension systems, sealants and plasters.

USG first began dabbling in the Olympics in 2007 when Chicago was bidding to host the 2016 Games. The company signed on to sponsor the 2007 AIBA World Boxing Championships, which Chicago bid organizers brought to the city in an effort to promote its Olympic bid.

The company’s executives followed that announcement five years later with a trip to the London Games where they were the corporate guests of another USOC sponsor, sources said.

USG’s annual revenue totals more than $3 billion and its market cap is $2.4 billion. It was an official sponsor of NASCAR, but it dropped that sponsorship last year. It has no other sports sponsorships.