The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (Locog) is charging brands too much to become sponsors of London 2012, according to a global sponsorship expert, who says the deals are unlikely to offer value for money.
Lesa Ukman, who is chairman and co-founder of independent sponsorship research and analysis agency IEG, believes overcharging for what is the most sought-after sponsorship property in world sport could be detrimental to the entire industry.
The operational cost of staging the Games is expected to be more than £2bn, all of which must come from private sources. Locog has set a sponsorship target of £750m – about £225m of which has already been raised.
Lloyds TSB, EDF Energy and Adidas have signed up as top-level (tier one) domestic sponsors. The Lloyds deal was thought to be worth about £80m. In a speech to the European Sponsorship Association’s annual conference, Ukman said/ “Local Olympic organisers are overcharging and failing to deliver value for money which, in turn, is bad for the sponsorship industry.”
Diageo has been linked with the 2012 Games, although a spokeswoman points out that alcoholic beverages is not one of the categories Locog is looking to fill. But officials have confirmed that London 2012 commercial director Chris Townsend has been in talks with the drinks giant with a view to promoting responsible drinking around the Games.
Locog is looking for tier one partners in telecoms; oil and gas; automotive; airlines; and clothing and homeware.