Mills denies lack of funding for athletes will damage Games

Sir Keith Mills, chief executive of London Olympics 2012, has denied that the current lack of funding for aspiring athletes will damage the event’s brand.

Speaking at a Royal Mail-sponsored conference in London, Mills was challenged about the failure of gymnast Ben Brown, whom the bid team used in its ad campaign, to secure the &£15,000 he needs to train for the games.

Mills accepted that that the issue of funding was a problem, but denied that it would damage the public’s perception of the games.

He told the conference: “One of the reasons I got involved is that there are a lot of things that this country could do better. Investment in athletes is one of those things.”

Some observers say that the Government was right to be cautious about supporting athletes, as this does not have the long-term benefits that financing the infrastructure does.

But others agree that the brand could be damaged, because the public felt that young athletes were being denied a chance to compete.

Clifford Bloxham, vice president of athletes and personalities at sports marketing agency Octagon, says: “If the public think youngsters aren’t getting their shot at the Olympic dream then that’s damaging. But there comes a point when athletes have to judged on their performance.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here