US Olympic Committee hires ad Agency

- The US Olympic Committee has appointed GSD&M to develop its first ever brand advertising campaign as it tries to help cover a shortfall in fund-raising for the scandal-ridden 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

- The US Olympic Committee has appointed GSD&M to develop its first ever brand advertising campaign as it tries to help cover a shortfall in fund-raising for the scandal-ridden 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

The USOC, based in Colorado Springs, said it had chosen the Austin, Texas-based agency to develop a print and TV ad campaign that will feature US Olympic athletes of both past and present.

News of the choice came in the midst of the International Olympic Committee's search for a global agency to handle its own international branding campaign, aimed at restoring its image in the wake of the Salt Lake City scandal.

The IOC global branding campaign is understood to have an earmarked budget of around $150 million (£92.5 million).

The Salt Lake Organizing Committee is still $300 million short of the $859 million in sponsor fees budgeted for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Only one sponsor, Seiko, has signed up and another, Johnson & Johnson, broke off negotiations on a $30 million deal since the scandal broke in November -- when it was revealed that IOC members had taken cash and other favours before Salt Lake was chosen to host the games. Since then, ten IOC members have resigned or been expelled from the committee.

GSD&M has approximate annual billings of $750 million and its clients include Doubletree Hotels, the Houston Rockets, Pennzoil Products, Southwest Airlines and Wal-Mart.





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