The London 2012 Olympic bid has signed more than 25 companies, including British Airways, BT and EDF, as corporate sponsors in deals worth a total of &£6m. The companies are the first members of its top partnership programme.
The news comes a week before the bid team will hear whether or not it has made the shortlist for the final candidates. Keith Mills, chief executive for the bid, says the sponsorship contracts have been signed subject to success next week. He adds that the bid team is in negotiations with a further 20 companies, including several retailers. Mills hopes another seven partners will join the premier sponsor scheme.
In a vote of confidence for the bid, London has received backing from a number of global companies such as Avis, Hilton, McKinsey and Microsoft. International companies were thought to be unlikely to back a specific bid as it could risk alienating other countries.
Other companies to have pledged support through money or services include Berwin Leighton Paisner, Canary Wharf, Clifford Chance and Radisson Edwardian.
With &£6m now in the coffers, the bid team needs to find an additional &£4m to reach its &£10m target. This amount will be doubled by the Government.
About &£3m will be allocated to the marketing budget, with additional support coming from media companies providing free advertising space (MW March 25).