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Beijing delays in choosing Olympic partners
Updated: 2004-03-23 16:21

Beijing Olympic organizers admitted "a little bit delay" in selecting the domestic partners of the 2008 Olympic Games, but said it has no negative impact on their ambitious marketing program.

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympics (BOCOG) promised to name the first group of domestic partners by the end of last year, but they now still remain unknown.

"BOCOG is extremely serious and careful in selecting the partners as they are the first to be named," BOCOG vice president Jiang Xiaoyu told a press conference in Beijing on March 23.

"That's why we haven't announced the list yet," he added.

Jiang also cited a week-long Lunar New Year break in January as an excuse for the delay.

"The first group of five partners will be named before this June, and the rest will also be selected by the end of this year," said Jiang.

According to Jiang, the first group of partners are from four categories, including automobile, banking, telecommunications and petroleum.

BOCOG launched a high-profile marketing program last September in the hope of covering the 1.6-billion-US-dollar operational cost.

The lucrative marketing plan is composed of licensing, sponsorship and partnership programs. Partnerships and sponsorships include four-year exclusive marketing rights, while the licensing program authorizes companies to produce and sell products with the official Olympic emblem only after paying royalties to BOCOG.

So far, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has signed 10 of 12 TOP sponsors backing the Beijing Games worldwide, including McDonald's, General Electric and Visa.

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