Bosco Sport signs up as Sochi 2014 sponsor
MOSCOW -- Russian apparel brand Bosco Sport signed up as leading domestic sponsor of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi on Wednesday in a deal worth more than $100 million.
The agreement also makes Bosco Sport the exclusive outfitter of Russian Olympic teams for the upcoming Winter Games in Vancouver through the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
"Western fans have been very envious (of Bosco Sport's outfits) and now they will become even more so," Sochi organizing committee chairman Dmitry Chernyshenko said at the signing ceremony with Mikhail Kusnirovich, the head of Bosco Sport's parent company Bosco di Ciliegi.
Bosco Sport also signed a deal to produce licensed apparel with the Olympic symbols through 2016, the Sochi organizing committee said.
"It's very pleasant that the Sochi organizing committee is supporting a Russian manufacturer," Kusnirovich said at the ceremony at an ornate department store on Red Square where Bosco Sport has one of its outlets.
The company's white and red Olympic outfits won praise at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, but the uniforms were laden with Bosco logos, violating the games' limits on logo size. The logos were quickly covered up with stickers after a reprimand from the International Olympic Committee, which also warned that company banners at the athletes' villages and event venues were in violation of regulations.
Sochi organizers said they have raised more than $850 million in domestic sponsorship revenues so far and hope to top the $1 billion mark.
Along with Bosco Sport, other top-tier sponsors with deals worth more than $100 million are Aeroflot, Volkswagen's Russian branch, telecommunication firms Rostelecom and Megafon, state oil and gas company Rosneft and state bank Sberbank.
Virtually all Olympic facilities are being built from scratch in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. The city won hosting rights in 2007 with the help of campaigning by Vladimir Putin, who was Russia's president at the time and is the current prime minister.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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