Rio 2016 strengthens commercial outlook

Organisers of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 summer Olympics have signed four new sponsorship agreements and are in the final stages of securing 10 more partners for the Games, the organising committee’s commercial chief Renato Ciuchini has told the Bloomberg news agency.

Ciuchini said that the deals would amount to 80 per cent of the Games’ sponsorship target. Commercial income is slated to cover 51 per cent of the Olympics’ reported $3bn (€2.2bn) operating costs.

Announcements are expected during the coming weeks, but Ciuchini forecasts a number of sponsors will delay going public with their marketing campaigns until August in order to avoid a clash with the upcoming Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

“We all know, and all the sponsors know, that if Messi gets the flu that’s the front page of all the papers,” Ciuchini said. “So why do we need to get into this battle, spend money, effort and energy when we know this is not an area the press is focused on right now?”

Government spending on the World Cup and Olympic Games has been a focal point for protests and civil unrest in Brazil. However, Ciuchini believes that corporate social responsibility programmes are likely to form an important pillar of activations by Games partners.

“If I tell you demonstrations and protests are not a concern for anybody it’s not true: it’s a concern for everybody and everybody is worried about that,” he said. “We don’t have sponsors who are guys that are just buying signs in stadiums and trying to get return on that. We are talking about serious long-term commitment to the country.”