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IOC official confident of Olympic marketing plan
( 2003-08-04 10:07) (CCTV.com)

Senior officials from the International Olympic Committee are in Beijing to attend Sunday's ceremony to launch the official logo for the 2008 Olympics. They speak highly of Beijing's preparations for the Games. Moreover, they are confident that the logo will add to a successful Olympic marketing campaign.

Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2008 Olympics, Hein Verbruggen, says the ceremony on Sunday will be a milestone event leading up to the 2008 Games.

"We are happy that BOCOG is giving so much importance to tomorrow's event. The launch of the logo is really the beginning of the next five years leading up to the games," said Mr. Verbruggen.

Following the launching of the emblem, the Beijing Organizing Committee will initiate its 1.65 billion US dollar marketing program in September. IOC Marketing Director Michael Payne says he believes Beijing has both a strong emblem and powerful backing from business community to make the program a success.

Payne said, "From the business point of view, we have never seen as much interest from both the Chinese and international business community. The mark is very strong, the marketing program is very strong. And I am sure we are going to have a very successful marketing program."

Already nine companies, including Coca Cola, Kodak and Swatch, have signed up for IOC's Top Program, to become the world wide sponsors for the 2008 Olympic Games. IOC officials say there is possibility that a Chinese company may eventually also join the Top Program, which usually has 10 to 12 sponsors.

"If opportunities arise in the product category, it makes sense that we have a Chinese company who can really use the rights world wide. We welcome a Chinese company joining the TOP program," Payne added.

At the same time, he stresses there will be ample opportunity outside the TOP program for Chinese businesses to develop their identity internationally through the Games.

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