September 30 - American broadcaster NBC Universal have sold a record $800 million (£494 million/€592 million) in advertising for next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi and expect it to raise even further, it was reported today.
Seth Winter, executive vice-president for sales and marketing for NBC Sports Group, told Ad Age, a global source of news for marketing, that the money had been raised from fewer advertisers than for Vancouver 2010.
Winter predicted that the final total amount raised could approach $970 million (£599 million/€712 million), comfortably outstripping the previous record of $750 million (£463 million/€555 million) raised for Salt Lake City 2002 and Vancouver 2010, but short of the $1 billion (£618 million/€739 million) plus raised for London 2012.
"As of today, we see $800 million, which is a Winter Games record for us, surpassing Torino , which was in the mid $600s, and both Salt Lake and Vancouver, which were in the mid-$700s," Winter told Ad Age.
Olympic TOP sponsors Coca-Cola, General Electric, McDonald's, Procter & Gamble and Visa are among the companies to have booked space on NBC during the Games.
They have been joined by AT&T, BMW, BP, Citibank and Liberty Mutual, sponsors of the United States Olympic Committee.
The amount firms have been willing to spend on advertising during Sochi 2014 has not been affected by the recent controversy surrounding Russia's anti-gay laws which have been condemned around the world.
"We have not seen a single advertiser fall out," Winter told Ad Age.
"While I know all of the advertisers are concerned, and will address it in their unique way, none of them have been shy about investing in the Olympics."
NBC paid $775 million (£471 million/€573 million)) for the rights to broadcast Sochi 2014 as part of a record $4.38 billion (£2.66 billion/€3.44 billion) deal signed in 2011 to continue having the rights to the Olympics until 2020.
Some companies are paying more, Winter revealed, to ensure exclusivity during Sochi 2014.
"If you're a particular company, you want to shut out your competitors - and have a sole share of voice over those three weeks," he said.
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