LONDON: Cadbury PLC has signed up as a sponsor of the 2012 Olympics, buying the right to use the London Games as part of its marketing and to become
the sole supplier of all confectionery and packaged ice creams to be sold within the Olympic Park.
Signing up Cadbury means that London 2012 organizers have reached around two-thirds of their target of 650 million pounds (US$1.1 billion) from domestic sponsors amid fears that the global financial turmoil has emptied the coffers of potential supporters.
Terms of the deal with the world's biggest candy maker were not immediately disclosed, but the so-called ``tier-two'' sponsorships are valued at a minimum of 20 million pounds (US$35 million), with tier-one deals worth twice that amount.
There had been some speculation about Cadbury's involvement in recent weeks after it announced it was slashing almost 600 jobs as part of cost-cutting measures despite reporting a rise in third-quarter sales.
``We have now raised over 430 million pounds (US$750 million), which is well on our way to our domestic sponsorship target as we seek to raise the 2 billion pounds (US$3.5 billion) required to stage the Games in 2012,'' said London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton.
London-based Cadbury has a long history of sport sponsorship, although it ran into trouble with its ``Get Active!'' campaign five years ago that encouraged children to eat chocolate in exchange for sports equipment for their school. The campaign was criticized by the Food Commission as ``absurd and contradictory.''
The company was an official supplier of the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, as well as the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Cadbury chief executive officer Todd Stitzer said that Cadbury, ``as part of the fabric of British life'' was a good fit with the Games.
``We have strived to be a company that is both performance driven and values led, a philosophy that is at one with the long-held ethos of the Games: inspiration, optimism and community,'' he said.
London 2012 signed up seven tier-one domestic partners ahead of the Beijing Games Adidas, British Airways, BP, BT,
EDF Energy, Lloyds TSB and Nortel. Cadbury joins Deloitte, which is the professional services supporter, as a tier-two sponsor. Global partners include McDonald's, Coca-Cola and Samsung.
6 months ago