Rio 2016 reveals sponsorship success ahead of IOC Coordination Commission visit
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
March 18 - Rio 2016 organisers have received a boost in the form of new sponsorship agreements on the eve of the latest visit here by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission.
The Commission, led by Morocco's IOC vice-president Nawal El Moutawakel, are due to spend three days here beginning tomorrow to inspect Games venues and hear progress updates in what will be their first inspection since last September.
Since then, Rio 2016 has passed the 1,000 days to go milestone and has unveiled its Games budget.
But it has also been criticised for slow construction progress and escalating costs.
In this context, the announcement four new sponsorship agreements have been signed and final negotiations are underway with 10 other companies is a major boost.
Rio 2016 chief commercial officer Renato Ciuchini claimed that once the agreements are completed 80 per cent of the sponsorship target will have been reached.
Ciuchini did not reveal the names of the potential sponsors, revealing an announcement will be made in the coming weeks,
He claimed Rio has already reached 91 per cent of the amount of sponsorship secured by London 2012, hailed as the most successful summer Olympic sponsorship programme in history.
Organisers claimed to have accounted for 51 percent of the 7 billion Brazilian real (£1.8 billion/$2.9 billion/€2.1 billion) total budget to be met through sponsorships and partnerships.
This budget, revealed in January, represented a 27 per cent increase above the original cost estimation, but organisers have said this is due to the introduction of four new sports - rugby sevens, golf, Para-canoe, and Paratriathlon - to the Games programme, as well as inflation.
The total budget is still far lower amount than that for London 2012 and Sochi 2014, they claimed.
Budgeting and sponsorship is set to be one of the areas the IOC Coordination Commission will be focusing strongly on, particularly considering the public protests which have rocked Brazil in recent months in opposition to spending on sporting events, particularly this year's FIFA World Cup.
Other likely areas of interest relate to integration with the World Cup as well as progress with the preparation of venues following widespread criticism that they are behind schedule.
RIo 2016 claim they are aware of these issues.
Ciuchini revealed that Rio 2016 and its partners are likely to embark on a number of corporate social responsibility programmes.
This follows other recently announced projects designed to bring benefits to the public from the Games, including last week's agreement between Rio 2016 and Education First to train more than one million Brazilians in a second language ahead of the Games.
"If I tell you demonstrations and protests are not a concern for anybody it's not true - it's a concern for everybody and everybody is worried about that," Ciuchini said.
"We don't have sponsors who are guys that are just buying signs in stadiums and trying to get return on that.
"We are talking about serious long-term commitment to the country."
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March 2014: Education First appointed by Rio 2016 to provide second language training throughout Brazil
January 2014: Multi-billion dollar infrastructure budget launched for Rio 2016 but Brazilian Government admit it will raise
January 2014: Rio 2016 chief executive insists Brazil can run a scandal-free Games
January 2014: Rio 2016 budget grows by 27 per cent to 7 billion Brazilian real for Olympics and Paralympics
January 2014: IOC President Bach impressed after first visit to Rio ahead of 2016 Games