Adidas paying $201 million to sponsor 2012 Olympics

LONDON -- Adidas became the third sponsor of the 2012 London
Olympics on Thursday in a deal worth more than $201 million.

Adidas becomes the official sportswear partner for the games and
also will provide clothing for the 70,000 volunteers and officials.

The deal also covers sponsorship for clothing and equipment used
by British athletes for the 2008 Beijing Games, the 2010 Vancouver
Winter Games and 2012 London Games.

"No other host city has made such progress in its domestic
sponsorship five years out from the games," London 2012 chairman
Sebastian Coe said.

Adidas flew in world champions Tyson Gay and Allyson Felix for
Thursday's launch, and the pair ran on a mock racing track on the
Millennium Bridge over the River Thames to highlight the deal.

The sponsorship announcement also featured five-time Olympic
goal medalist Nadia Comeneci. England soccer star David Beckham also made an appearance
via a hologram -- speaking about his joy at competing in front of
crowds in his native London.

Adidas joins British bank Lloyds TSB, which has signed up as a
banking and insurance partner, and EDF Energy, which has the
utilities sponsorship. London hopes to name a fourth sponsor by

"Our objective, and I think we'll probably get there, is to
have all our tier one sponsors in place by Beijing, which would be
the first time a host city has done that," Coe said.

The other categories are telecoms, automotive, airline, oil and
gas and a clothing and homeware manufacturer.

The top-tier sponsors will help raise $4 billion for the London Olympic organizing committee.

"It's a really important commercial message as well," Coe
said. "It's not just the importance of coming to the table with
serious help, in terms of helping us deliver our financial
commitments. These are partners coming to the table that can bring
other levels of expertise."

A separate budget for venues, infrastructure and regeneration
projects totals $18.6 billion.

Adidas chief executive officer Herbert Hainer said the
sponsorship was the biggest single investment that the German
company had made in the British market. He said he wanted Adidas to
be the leading sports brand in Britain and the largest sportswear
maker in Europe.

Adidas would also deliver the highest merchandizing revenues to
LOCOG from any single sponsor, Adidas Europe managing director Gil
Steyeart said.

Adidas also has a sportswear partnership for the Beijing