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Volume 21 No. 1
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USOC expands 100-day countdown for Sochi

The U.S. Olympic Committee has doubled the number of sponsors that will participate in its third pre-Olympic, 100-day-out celebration.

Twelve sponsors will activate during the event, which will take place Oct. 29 in Times Square. The USOC charged sponsors to be part of the program, but financial terms weren’t available.

The USOC expects to more than double attendance from the London event last year.
Photo by: USOC
The USOC expects more than 170,000 people to pass through the event. That’s more than double the 75,000 visitors who came to the inaugural 100-day-out celebration before the 2010 Vancouver Games.

“It’s grown and people now understand what it can be,” said USOC chief marketer Lisa Baird.

Liberty Mutual signed on to title sponsor the event and the Road to Sochi Tour, which will take Olympic sports exhibitions and interactive elements to 12 more stops between November and February. The company will use the series of events to launch and showcase its Olympic advertising campaign in an experiential booth.

“Given its national footprint, our presenting sponsorship of the Road to Sochi Tour provides Liberty Mutual Insurance the opportunity to expose the brand to millions of Olympic fans across the country leading up to and through the Olympic Winter Games, while also engaging thousands of our employees,” said Paul Alexander, Liberty Mutual’s senior vice president of communications.

The other sponsors participating are Coca-Cola, AT&T, Budweiser, Chobani, Folgers, The Hartford, Hilton, Jif, Kellogg’s, United and Smucker’s jams.

Each sponsor receives activation space in the 100-days-out footprint in Times Square. They also are a presenting sponsor of one of 12 interactive sports elements that visitors can try. For example, Budweiser will be the presenting sponsor of a hockey slap shot contest. The company, which is participating in its first 100-days-out event, also plans to bring the Clydesdales to Times Square.

Rendering shows activation space for the 100-day-out celebration Oct. 29 in Times Square.
Image by: USOC
Baird said the USOC had more success in convincing sponsors to sign on for the event because it was able to show them the media value and exposure they would receive in Times Square. The 100-day countdown to the London Games drew 175,000 visitors and resulted in 150 million media impressions, according to the USOC.

“The first time we were just hoping sponsors came on board and tried this out,” Baird said. “Now there’s a lot more value built in for sponsors looking to connect it to [return on investment].”

The USOC has secured 12 billboards in Times Square on Oct. 29. It will use the billboards to show USOC logos and branding and footage of Pilobolus, a performance company that will be doing a show as part of the event.

Team Epic helped the USOC plan the event.