‘No white elephants’ for 2012, says Olympic chief

Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), has promised that this year’s Olympics will be one of “no white elephants”.

Paul Deighton

Speaking to a group of business leaders at an awards ceremony last night (20 March), Deighton claims that through using existing venues and utilising the “creativity” of its corporate partnerships, LOCOG is avoiding unnecessary costs in staging its events this summer.

He was speaking at the fourth FT ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business Awards.

“Our sponsors have signed up to £700m to support this,” he said. “We had budgeted before the credit crunch to reach £600m so we exceeded that. And these companies are not just providing money but services too.”

Deighton also described the Olympics as “one of the world’s biggest public/private partnerships” and praised the “marketing skill” that had gone into London winning the bid to be the host city in 2012.

He said: “This is a year to celebrate British business and its achievements. I want to salute British business in what its done for the Games as it’s been outstanding in its commitment and delivery so far. There is a huge private sector contribution.”

Winners at the awards ceremony included Unilever for boldness in corporate responsibility with its ‘sustainable living plan’, while Amazon won for driving change with its business model and Samsung for its rapid growth in the smartphone market.

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