Support for Youth Olympics stays 'strong'

Despite current downturn, the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee is optimistic it will reach its sponsorship target of US$33.5 million.

SINGAPORE--Despite the economic downturn, interest from potential sponsors in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) remains strong, ZDNet Asia has learned.

The inaugural Singapore 2010 Games presents, especially for local companies, a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to be associated with the Olympic brand, a SYOGOC spokesperson said in an e-mail interview. The YOG is scheduled to be held in the island-state next August.

"SYOGOC is very optimistic that we will be able to reach our target of S$50 million (US$33.5 million)," he noted. "Having said that, we are keeping our ears close to the ground and are ready to be flexible and react according to the latest economic developments where necessary."

According to the spokesperson, the SYOGOC is currently in discussion with "a number of companies" that have expressed interest in sponsoring the Games, with some negotiations at an "advanced" stage.

Last month, the SYOGOC signed a memorandum of intent with Atos Origin--its first partner--that will see the IT services vendor provide two systems and act as the overall technology integrator.

ZDNet Asia understands from Lenovo, an IT partner at the Beijing 2008 summer Olympic Games last August, that the YOG will not be a sponsorship target for the hardware company. According to a Singapore-based spokesperson, it would focus on events such as the Formula One race. Lenovo is supporting the Vodafone McClaren Mercedes team for the 2009 F1 season.

Worldwide Olympic partners, including Samsung, Visa and Panasonic, are listed as sponsors of the YOG on the Singapore 2010 Web site. The corporate logo of Acer, which replaces Lenovo as the hardware vendor for the London Games in 2012, is also found on the site.

A Samsung spokesperson told ZDNet Asia that all Worldwide Olympic partners are by default sponsors of the YOG, and added that terms of Samsung's partnership with the SYOGOC have not been defined.

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