Citigroup signs sponsorship deal with USOC
Citigroup signed a sponsorship deal Thursday with the U.S.
Olympic Committee, a move the banking group’s CEO believes is an
effective way to say thanks for customers’ support during the
Monetary details of the agreement were not disclosed, but the
banking category has long been one of the most lucrative in the
USOC cache, traditionally worth $10 to $15 million for four years.
This deal, which includes ad buys on NBC’s telecasts at the London
Games, goes through 2012.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Citigroup CEO Vikram
Pandit said the company is excited to get in line with the Olympics
but also said the sponsorship is ”about just saying thanks to the
American people who have supported us through everything that has
happened the last few years.”
Citi received about $45 billion in government bailout money to
help it survive during the credit crisis that hit in 2007 and 2008.
The company has paid back the money and has reported profits for
the last four quarters.
”We have turned the corner, no question about it,” Pandit
said. ”Having an opportunity to sponsor a key event that’s
important to the U.S., we think it’s an important part of what we
need to be doing, what we should be doing and it’s what we are
The financial crisis also hit the USOC, which lost a handful of
multimillion-dollar sponsors, including longtime partner Bank of
The USOC has been steadily rebuilding its sponsorship
The Citi arrangement is the second that brought NBC to the
table, folding in advertising on the Olympic network’s broadcasts
with the basic USOC sponsorship deal. In the past, companies would
negotiate with the USOC, then decide whether they wanted ad time
for the Olympics and head to NBC to work a separate deal. USOC CEO
Scott Blackmun thought streamlining that process would make the
deals more attractive.