By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Bradesco_logoDecember 3 - Rio 2016 has signed up its first domestic sponsor, Brazil's second-largest bank Bradesco, who will pay at least $320 million (£205 million) to be associated with the first-ever Olympics to be held in South America.

The huge sum is the minimum amount set by the Rio 2016 Organising Committee to become the official finance and insurance services partner, more than twice what Lloyds TSB paid for the same category at London 2012. 

Bradesco has been one of the strongest banks in Brazil for more than half-a-century, and was the country's biggest private bank until the merger of Banco Itau and Unibanco in 2009.

The deal will feature direct input of Bradesco resources and the offer of finance, banking and insurance during the Games.

It also includes marketing rights connected with the Brazilian Olympic Committee.

"Bradesco submitted the best bid, which also includes projects that support the development of the Brazilian Olympic sport and the promotion of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the country," said Leonardo Gryner, the chief executive of Rio 2016.

Rio_2016_sign_deal_with_BradescoBradesco chief exeutive Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi claimed that Rio 2016 presented a unique opportunity to bring Brazilians together.

"In the eyes of the world, it is going to be the celebration of Brazil with its positive agenda, modernity, work, social inclusion, and economic development," he said.

"To us at Bradesco, the opportunity of joining this fantastic moment of Brazilian life is both a privilege and a thrill."

The announcement coincides with the launch of Rio's commercial programme and the unveiling of the Games' new logo at a special event on Copacabana Beach on December 31.

Rio 2016 plans to have three categories of sponsors.

They will be level one, official sponsor; level two, supporter; and level three, supplier.

The Organising Committee will make a market study to assess the potential of each segment of the economy and thus set a minimum amount for the sponsorship of the category.

The telecommunications category is set to be the next category to be opened to the market.

"The Olympic partnership establishes a new model of sponsorship in Brazil, since it works with the concept of long term partnership, generating concrete benefits for the companies, which extends beyond the period of the Games", said Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the President of Rio 2016.

"And we are honoured to start the Games commercial project with Bradesco as our first national sponsor, as a demonstration of confidence in the Brazilian market in the Rio 2016 Games."

Negotiations will be led by Maggie Sanchez, an American economist with experience at Microsoft and Vodafone, who has joined Rio 2016 as executive commercial director. 

"Besides the rights of associating your brand with the Rio 2016 Games image, the sponsorship allows companies to develop powerful brand experiences with customers, client partners and co-workers, appropriating all the positive attributes of the Olympic movement," she said.

"The association with the Games establishes a new level for companies' businesses on an immediate and long term."

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