Rio 2016 facing sponsorship challenges – Heiberg

International Olympic Committee Marketing Commission chairman Gerhard Heiberg has admitted that organisers for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are facing challenging conditions as they attempt to sell sponsorship packages for South America’s first Games.

Heiberg said that companies are less willing to invest in sponsorships because of Brazil’s slowing economy.

His comments come after Rio 2016 chief operating officer, Leo Gryner, said last month that $700m (€530.3m) in government money may be required to balance the operating budget for the Games if there is a shortfall in local sponsorship income. Heiberg has not revealed any current Rio sponsorship figures.

“They (Rio) had a very strong start in the commercial programme and they have completed several deals so far,” Heiberg said, according to the Associated Press. “However, Rio is facing a tough Brazilian economy and the climate, the market, certainly looks very different than when the program was launched.”

Rio 2016 officials have conceded that next year’s Fifa World Cup has impacted on their commercial ambitions, along with the effects of inflation and loss of value in the local currency in terms of dollars.

Rio 2016 currently has Bradesco, Bradesco Seguros, Embratel, Claro and Nissan signed up in its top-tier domestic sponsor category.

EY, Sadia, Batavo and Skol have all agreed deals in the supporter category.