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OLYMPIC REVIEW59Brand Building Officer, explained in London: "WhatVancouver represented for us then was essentially a pilot to see whether we could take all of our brandsand really make something out of that.It justbecame obvious for us that the next step was toexpand that to other markets around the world." Like Dow, P&G has signed up until 2020.So is the TOP model good for another 25 years?"We have asked ourselves that question manytimes and talked to a lot of people outside the OlympicMovement," Heiberg replies. "We always wind up with,yes, small changes, but the basic idea is still a very,very good one." He explains that while Olympicdecision-makers are making room for a possiblereform by not, for the moment, concluding deals thatextend beyond 2020, this should not be interpreted as a signal that major surgery is likely. "We are making deals up to 2020," he says."Some companies want to go further and we havesaid, 'No'. We will see whether we make changes orcontinue. So far we have decided it is still basically a good model maybe with one or two changes."Lumme adopts a similar line. "Sponsorship hasbeen a tough sell for everyone in the last couple ofyears. I feel pretty comfortable about the next 25 yearsof TOP." He continues: "It's a value-based programme,not an exposure-based programme. Sponsors arebuying association with one of the most valuable andwell-known brands in the world - the five rings. Weknow from our research that across the world at least96% of people recognise the five rings and know whatthey stand for." As Lumme acknowledges, however,"You are only as strong as the property you arerepresenting". So for Olympic sponsorship to remain aspowerful and valuable a tool as at present, the OlympicGames must remain "relevant and exciting". One areawhere Lumme concedes that there could be change is the categorisation of technology products. Thesecontinue to evolve with extraordinary speed and toconverge, with the result that ostensibly very differentproducts can be used for the same functions. "Withtechnology changing every day, it is quite clear therewill be some challenges with traditional categorisationby product category," Lumme says. "I do foresee having to have a pretty good review of how we keepclear daylight between the partners in this area."The former Marketing Commission ChairmanPound, for his part, warns against something called"category creep". This is not a reference to 1930shorror movies, but marketing jargon for the way inwhich product categories can have a tendancy toexpand. These, though, are matters for another day. As TOP marks its first 25 years, it is fitting to raise one's hat to a programme that transformed the IOC's financial fortunes and, in the words of President Rogge,enabled the promotion of the Olympic ideal around theworld to "really.take off". A TOP hat, of course. nVANCOUVER 2010lTOP is the only sponsorship programme providing some of the world's leading companies with a global association with the Olympic MovementlThe last complete cycle of the TOP Programme - the highest level of Olympic sponsorship - generated US$866 million in revenue, goods and services for the Olympic Movement as a whole, making it the second largest source of income after broadcasting revenue.lRevenue from the TOP Programme is shared throughout the whole Movement to the Organising Committees and all 205 NOCs and their teamslIn addition to their financial support, Olympic partners' products, services and expertise are vital to the success of the GameslPartners also help promote the Games around the world through their marketing campaigns and sponsorship activations, often spending several times the value of their initial investment, meaning the Olympic Movement can reach a global audienceHOW THE TOP PARTNERS MAKE THE GAMES HAPPENAbovePioneers of theTOP programmewith PresidentRogge and DickPound at the25th anniversaryReunion Dinner,held earlier this yearLeftThe DowChemicalCompany joinedthe programme in 2010