LONDON (Reuters) - German sports goods maker Adidas were named as the latest Tier One sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics at a glittering ceremony on Thursday.
“They are a perfect partner for us to share our common goals,” London Organising Committee (LOCOG) chairman Sebastian Coe said at the launch of the partnership which is worth 100 million pounds ($200.1 million).
Unlike the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) which is financed chiefly from public funds, the organizing committee must get its total budget of two billion pounds from the private sector, including sponsorship, broadcasting rights and merchandise.
“The team at LOCOG and I look forward to working with them over the next five years or so. One of our challenges as an organizing committee is to raise two billion pounds to stage the Games in 2012 and our commercial program is driving this,” added Coe.
American world sprint champions Tyson Gay and Allyson Felix were joined by several other high-profile names from the sporting world at the launch in a London nightclub. Former Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci was also there.
Even LA Galaxy footballer David Beckham appeared briefly on stage, if only in hologram form.
Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer said it was the biggest single investment the company had put into a British sporting event.
“We want to become the leading sportswear brand in the U.K., Europe’s largest sportswear market,” Hainer said.
“We will play a major role in what promises to be one of the best sporting events the world has ever seen.”
Adidas are the third Tier One partner for London 2012 after Lloyds TSB from the banking and insurance sector and EDF Energy from the utilities sector.
Further Tier One partners are expected to be announced before the end of the year from categories including oil and gas, automotive and airlines and Coe said they should all be in place before next year’s Beijing Games.
“That would be the first time a host city has done that,” Coe told reporters. “It’s not just about financial commitments, these are partners that bring levels of expertise.
“We are trying to communicate to young people and to have a global brand like Adidas at the table is a huge help to us.”
Adidas, who have worked with the British Olympic Association (BOA), since 1984, will provide specially designed kit for Team GB in 2012 as well as clothing for the 70,000 volunteers.
Additional reporting by Rachel Sanderson