Lloyds TSB commits to £80m London 2012 deal

LONDON - Lloyds TSB is set to become the first brand to sign up as a top-tier sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic Games in a deal worth £80m.

Insiders say a deal is imminent, with the bank beating rivals HSBC, Bank of America and Citigroup, which had been linked to the deal. Barclays - the favourite to sign as a top-tier partner - pulled out of the bidding last month.

The sponsorship deal reflects a more decisive strategy at Lloyds TSB, following a high turnover of personnel in the marketing department over the past 12 months. Former Lowe Asia-Pacific chairman and chief executive Nigel Gilbert was appointed as group marketing director for Lloyds TSB and UK retail banking last October, replacing Alan Silberstein, who was drafted in on an interim basis to replace Helen Stevenson, who left last March.

Lloyds TSB would not comment on the deal, but said it "gets approached with a huge range of sponsorship opportunities". A spokeswoman from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games was not prepared to discuss the deal.

The committee invited tenders from banks and insurance firms last October.

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