Rugby World Cup
This Week's Issue
Life of Reilly
SI for Women
CNN/SI - TV
Golf Pro Shop
MLB Gear Store
NFL Gear Store
SI FOR KIDS
Coca-Cola satisfied with IOC's efforts
Posted: Wednesday January 13, 1999 04:47 PM
ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- One of the Olympics' oldest and best-known sponsors said Wednesday it was satisfied with the IOC's efforts to deal with the Salt Lake City bribery scandal.
Coca-Cola Co. officials had a "very productive" meeting Tuesday night with IOC marketing director Michael Payne, company spokesman Ben Deutsch said.
"We're confident that they are going to do what they said they would do - take swift and decisive action," Deutsch said.
He said Payne answered questions and briefed Coke, a major Olympic sponsor since 1928, about the IOC's response to allegations of bribery in the awarding of the 2002 Winter Games.
Payne met Wednesday with officials of two other sponsors, United Parcel Service and The Home Depot, at their Atlanta headquarters. He launched a series of meetings this week to reassure sponsors worried about the scandal's impact on the Olympics.
UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg said the company "felt really Comfortable" after the meeting about its sponsorship of the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney. UPS plans to decide later this year whether to extend Olympic sponsorship past then.
She said Payne described a "very tenacious" and complex IOC investigation that will result both in action against individuals and in recommendations for future safeguards in the selection of Olympic host cities.
Another Atlanta-based sponsor, Delta Air Lines, didn't have a session with Payne but said it is following the developments.
"We're monitoring the situation," Delta spokeswoman Kay Horner said, adding that the company was awaiting the IOC's report.The IOC has said it will release a report on the allegations Jan. 24. The U.S. and Salt Lake City Olympic committees also are investigating, as is the Justice Department.
ATLANTA (AP) -- Damage control is the goal of the visit to Atlanta by the top marketing officer of the International Olympic Committee.
Michael Payne, IOC marketing director based in Lausanne, Switzerland, had Tuesday night meetings set with Coca-Cola Co. officials, and planned other meetings Wednesday at the headquarters offices of United Parcel Service and The Home Depot.
Payne came to Atlanta to begin a series of meetings to answer questions and give assurances to Olympic sponsors that action is being taken to clean up the Salt Lake City corruption mess.
One corporate sponsor, US West, has said it will hold up a $5 million sponsorship payment due at the end of this month amid investigations of bribery in the awarding of the 2002 Winter Games.
Coke spokesman Ben Deutsch said Tuesday's meeting was expected to be lengthy, but he wasn't sure whether the company would release any details. Coke, an Olympic sponsor since 1928 that spent some dlrs 200 million on sponsorship and global marketing of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games, emphasized its continued commitment.
"We believe in the Olympic movement. We're concerned about anything that can negatively impact the Olympics," Deutsch said. "We've expressed our concerns to the IOC, U.S. Olympic Committee and the Salt Lake City organizing committee and have been assured that they will take swift action to bring this situation to a positive closure."
He said the company has been in regular contact with Olympic officials about the allegations.
"We are very confident that they are taking the right steps," Deutsch said.
Coke has already contracted to sponsor both the Summer and Winter Games through 2008. Home Depot, which became a sponsor for the first time for the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, has also signed on for the Salt Lake City games as a U.S. sponsor.
But UPS, a major U.S. shipping company, hasn't decided whether to extend its Olympic sponsorship past the 2000 Games in Sydney. Spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg said UPS planned even before the scandal broke to make a decision sometime this year on a Salt Lake City sponsorship.
She said UPS wants to see action not only to clean up the Salt Lake City mess, but to prevent a repeat with future games.
The IOC has said it will release a report on the allegations Jan. 24. Besides the Olympic bodies' probes, the U.S. Justice Department also is investigating the allegations that cash payments of as much as $70,000 were given to IOC members along with other gifts and benefits.
Former officials of the Atlanta Olympics have sharply denied that there was any bribery involved in gaining the 1996 games for the city.
Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.