44Chapter Four / SPONSORSHIP"Corporate sponsorship provides essential support for competingathletes and contributes to the overall success of the Games. Putsimply, without the support of our official commercial partners, the Games would not be able to happen."Gerhard Heiberg, Chairman, IOC Marketing CommissionAs the world's biggest sporting event, the Olympic Games capture the imagination of billions of peopleacross the globe, offering a unique marketing platform and an unparalleled opportunity for thecompanies that support the Olympic Movement.The Games allow partners to showcase their brand in a relevant and dynamic way, providing a uniquechance to highlight their brand, products, services and corporate initiatives.Olympic partners enjoy a multitude of benefits, including the opportunity to align themselves with theOlympic rings - one of the most widely recognised symbols in the world and one that is associatedwith a set of ideals and values that resonate strongly across the globe.The Games also provide partners with an opportunity to connect with the public and build customerrelationships, and they are also able to use the Games as a way to motivate employees, enhance theircorporate reputation and leave a lasting legacy in the communities where they do business.Just as the athletes are an essential part of the Games, so too are the partners who provide vitalfunds to the Olympic Movement and help support the staging of the Games themselves. In addition to the financial support generated by sponsorship, each Olympic partner's products, technology andexpertise are vital to the success of the Games. Through this commitment, the Olympic partnersprovide the foundation for the staging of the Games and help more athletes from more countriesparticipate on the world's biggest sporting stage. Partners also help promote the Games around the world through their marketing campaigns and sponsorship activations, meaning the Olympic Movement can reach a wide audience. Manypartners often invest several times the value of their initial investment on their Olympic promotional campaigns.