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OLYMPIC REVIEW57celebration of human achievement. We have foundthat through these compelling Olympic and Paralympicathlete stories, all we really need to say is, 'Visa isincredibly proud to be a sponsor of the OlympicGames' and this affiliation delivers a powerful impactaround the world for our brand equity."We can conclusively say that the Olympic Gameshave had a positive impact on our brand and ourclients' and partners' businesses over the past 24years. We will spend money on activation as long as it is going to generate the appropriate returns." Coca-Cola's McCune explains how the company'smarketing model has evolved over the years throughfour stages. First there was Availability - simply gettingthe product to the right place, as on that freighter to theAmsterdam Games in 1928. Then came Exposure,through well-placed signs and television advertising.Then Experience: McCune gives the example of Coca-Cola Olympic City at the 1996 Atlanta Games, wherevisitors could compete with holographic images ofOlympic athletes, as well as seeing Olympic medals andthe Olympic torch. "So few people have the opportunityto experience the Olympic Games," McCune says, "wefeel it is almost an obligation for us to take the Gamesto the people." He also mentions a programme underwhich ordinary people can be nominated to run a leg of the torch relay that precedes each Games, based onhow they embody some aspect of the Olympic values.Now, he says, from Experience, the company istrying to move on to Engagement. The new possibilitiesopened up by digital technology are playing animportant role in this. "We had 46 million people whovirtually passed the Olympic flame to each other," hesays. The Olympic Games "allows our brands to createa global platform that drives our business. It allows our bottlers and employees to feel proud about working for the company. Employee engagement goes upexponentially in the run-up to the Games."Though TOP is an IOC-administered programme,the vast majority of the cash, goods and services it brings in are distributed around the Olympic world.Approximately 50 per cent of the total raised in anyOlympic quadrennium goes to the OrganisingCommittees of the two editions of the Games - oneWinter, one Summer - due to take place during thatfour-year period, along with the hosting NOCs. Thepresent quadrennium takes in the Vancouver WinterOlympics earlier this year, the inaugural Youth OlympicGames in Singapore and Innsbruck and the LondonSummer Games to be held in 2012; the next willcomprise the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing and and the2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Around a further 40 per cent of the sums generatedby TOP go to the NOCs across the globe. Under 10 ?TOP PARTNERSCoca-ColaNon alcoholic beveragesAcerComputing EquipmentAtos Origin Information Technology DowChemicals, Raw Materials and Compounds used in the manufacture of productsGESelect products and services from GE Energy, GE Healthcare, GE Transportation, GE Infrastructure, GE Consumer & Industrial, GE Advanced Materials and GE Equipment ServicesMcDonald's Retail Food ServicesOmegaTiming, Scoring and Venue Results ServicesProcter & GamblePersonal Care and Household ProductsPanasonicAudio/TV/Video EquipmentSamsungWireless Communication EquipmentVISAConsumer Payment SystemsTHE OLYMPIC PARTNERS (TOP)Left, right and belowThe technologyand expertise ofpartners such asOmega, AtosOrigin, Acer,Samsung and GEis paramount tothe staging ofsuccessful editionsof the Games

per cent is retained by the IOC to help meet the costsit bears. A high proportion of the so-called 'value-in-kind' goods and services contributed by TOP partnersis passed on to the OCOGs, since this often takes theform of infrastructure vital for staging the Games.Examples include Omega, the exclusive TOP partner in the Timing, Scoring and Venue Results Servicecategory, and Atos Origin, whose exclusive category is Information Technology.Two years ago, I was given an insight into the fullextent of Atos's contribution, with a visit to theTechnology Operation Centre for the Beijing Games,located on the 11th floor of a building near the famousWater Cube, venue for the aquatics events. There, asaround this vast city, the cream of the world's athletesstrained every sinew in pursuit of Olympic gold, rowafter row of computer screens glowed behind a transp-arent glass wall. It was explained that the systemsmonitored there, designed and built by Atos, fell into two main categories: Games Management Systems,such as accreditations, transport and accommodationschedules and VIP protocols; and Information DiffusionSystems carrying the timing and scoring data recordedby Omega to international media at lightning speed. As I listened, a figure on the wall signified that 343,848people, the equivalent of a good-sized town, had so farbeen issued with an accreditation badge.Why do Atos and other similarly-minded partnersgo to all this trouble? What better way can there be of demonstrating their ability to successfullyundertake complex projects in a high-pressureenvironment with the eyes of the world upon them?As Philippe Germond, Atos's then CEO, said "I believe it will just provide a good platform for AtosOrigin to demonstrate its technological strength to the world and especially its customers in China. The expertise that we gain from delivering thiscomplex and time-critical project will be transferredto other global clients that are looking to us todeliver similar high-performance IT infrastructureswhere real-time data is paramount."TOP, of course, does not preclude NOCs andOlympic Games Organising Committees (OCOGs)from finding their own sponsors in product categoriesnot reserved for the TOP partners. And indeed theBeijing Games broke all records for these domesticsponsorships, generating well in excess of $1 billion.This structure can be confusing for those not familiarwith the Olympic Movement's organisation andworking methods. It can even create internal friction if a Games organiser has its eye on a productcategory usually reserved for TOP. But, as TimoLumme, Director of IOC Television and Marketing,argues, the existence of TOP has also had significantspin-off benefits for those seeking partners for otherOlympic sponsorship programmes."TOP is very much the pole that holds up theOlympic revenue tent from the sponsorship side,"Lumme says. "I am not sure that all the growth wehave recently seen in national sponsorship would havebeen possible without a successful and vibrant TOPprogramme. When you have companies of this statureinvolved in TOP, it makes it easier for other marketersto say, 'Hey it works for them, it will work for us'."He goes on: "When an OCOG comes on board, we spend a lot of time bringing them up to speed onOlympic marketing. We sign an agreement called aMarketing Plan Agreement with the OCOG. That setsout the rules of the game for marketing activities in thehost territory. As a by-product of that, we do have livelyconversations about product categories. We also get a lot of inquiries from potential sponsors. The majorityare not suitable for TOP, so we pass them on."The international financial crisis had an impact onTOP, slowing down the progress of negotiations in the period between the Beijing and Vancouver Games. Did this slowdown also suggest that the programme,which has served the Movement so well for a quarterof a century, is ripe for reform? Few of us, after all, aredriving around in motor cars designed as long ago as1985. Heiberg thinks not, arguing that any difficultiesencountered over the past two years are: "100 percent based on the financial crisis. Nobody has said thisprogramme is outdated or doesn't work any more."Procter & Gamble's decision to become a TOPsponsor followed its partnership with Team USA at this year's Vancouver Games. The company said this"resulted in increased favourability ratings, greatermarket share and nearly $100 million in incrementalsales". As Marc Pritchard, P&G Global Marketing and58OLYMPIC REVIEWTOP PARTNERSAbove President RoggewelcomesProcter & Gambleto the team