General Electric Co (GE) sold about US$100 million of lights, power supplies and medical devices for the London Olympic Games, less than for Beijing’s massive build-out, but still enough to justify the largest US conglomerate’s sponsorship, officials said yesterday.
Since signing on as a top-level Olympic sponsor in 2005, GE has generated about US$1 billion in revenue from selling equipment for the stadiums and athlete villages in Torino, Beijing and Vancouver — with about half that amount coming from China’s 2008 games.
“At the time when Beijing went for the Olympics, they invested a lot. There was just a lot more to be built and developed,” GE chief marketing officer Beth Comstock said. “London has a much more measured approach in terms of infrastructure, but we certainly are happy that we participated.”
The backers of the London games spent about US$14 billion in building new Olympic venues and overhauling existing sites, well less than the estimated US$40 billion that China spent.
The company declined to say how much it paid for its Olympic sponsorship — Olympic contracts prohibit sponsors from disclosing the amount — but said the revenue generated from Olympic projects has justified its sponsorship.
GE’s sponsorship contract runs through 2020.
The 11 top-level Olympic sponsors also include McDonald’s Corp, Dow Chemical Co and Visa Inc.