Olympics-2010 organizers say not hurt by Nortel

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Nortel Networks Corp's NT.TO bankruptcy filing will not scuttle the company's agreement to supply equipment to the 2010 Olympics, Vancouver Games organizers said on Wednesday.

Nortel became a major sponsor of the Winter Games when it agreed in 2007 to supply network communications equipment that will be used by athletes, Olympic officials and media at all the event’s competition venues and support facilities.

“Today, Nortel reaffirmed its commitment to its Vancouver 2010 sponsorship,” Ward Chapin, chief information officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) said in a written statement.

A dollar value for the deal has not been released, but the committee’s agreements with its official suppliers range in value between C$3 million ($2.4 million) and C$15 million..

“Much of Nortel’s commitments to the Games have been delivered and will be in place by May,” Chapin added.

North America’s biggest telephone equipment maker filed for protection from creditors in Canada and the United States on Wednesday, after the world economic slowdown crushed its efforts to stem a decade-long financial decline.

Nortel is not the only 2010 Games corporate backer to struggle with the economic downturn. Automaker General Motors and Canadian mining giant Teck Cominco also have sponsorship deals.

All sponsors are still meeting their financial obligations despite the global economic situation, according to VANOC.

But the committee is expected to release a revised budget this month that reflects spending cuts it could have to take because of the impact of the slowing economy.

Nortel has a similar agreement to supply equipment to the 2012 Summer Games in London.


Reporting Allan Dowd, editing by Jeffrey Hodgson