Sydney's Olympic games nets sponsors

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SYDNEY -- Seventeen international and Australian companies have already committed $400m to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, putting the sponsorship schedule six months ahead of target, according to Mal Hemmerling, chief executive of the Games. Five more are expected to sign, completing the program.

Most of the Sydney Games' $1.95bn operating budget will come from television rights. So far almost $1bn, or 60%, has been raised.

Nine of the 17 sponsors, called Team Millennium Olympic Partners, are familiar Olympic supporters: Coca-Cola, IBM, Visa, UPS, Kodak, McDonald's, Panasonic, Fuji Xerox and Time. Swatch will be the official timekeeper. Local companies are BHP Ltd, the mining and steel giant, Telstra, Westpac Banking Group, AMP insurance, Westfield national shopping malls, EnergyAustralia, the publicly-owned energy authority, and Ansett Australia airlines.

Ansett has already tied up deals with international airlines, including United Airlines, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, South African Airways and Air New Zealand to promote themselves as Olympic carriers with Sydney connections.

Hemmerling declined to detail individual sponsorship agreements or to reveal the breakdown between cash and goods and services, saying they were all "cash relieving" and having the same effect on the bottom line.

Copyright January 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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