InterviewUS Dow to earn $1bn from 10-year Olympic sponsorship

07 February 2012 20:04  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Dow Chemical expects to gain $1bn (€760m) in new revenues from its 10-year sponsorship of the Olympics, which fits with its focus on emerging economies and push towards making more advanced materials, a senior executive said on Tuesday.

“It’s a great platform for us to demonstrate the solutions we have on offer throughout the value chain including infrastructure, sporting equipment and consumables. But it’s not just about the Olympics. This allows us to accelerate our engagement with people who are involved in the growth of those territories,” said George Hamilton, vice president for Dow Olympic Operations.

Dow’s sponsorship agreement from 2010 to 2020 covers five Olympic events, to be held in London (2012 summer games); Sochi, Russia (2014 winter games); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2016 summer games); Pyeongchang, South Korea (2018 winter games); and the 2020 summer games, the venue of which is yet to be decided. 

There will be a commercial legacy for Dow in those markets, according to Hamilton. Initially this will be connected with infrastructure such as buildings, roads, airports, bridges, airports, mass transportation, rail, water systems, power generation and broadcasting.

He added: “For a B2B company like us, there has to be a commercial analysis, and this suggested that $150bn will be invested in Olympic infrastructure between 2010 and 2020. Then we did an inventory of how Dow can participate, which suggested $1bn in incremental revenue during that 10-year period. We’re very pleased with progress so far.”

With such a long innovation cycle – seven to eight years – Hamilton said it is too early to say if its Olympic activities could become part of Dow’s “innovation engine”.

“But I can envision that it could be. By the time the sponsorship was announced, the London infrastructure was already done and 70% of the next games’s. Established technologies are in use for these games but we are already in discussions with Rio and Pyeongchang. If we’re early enough there could be great opportunities for innovation.”

Hamilton said that as a business-to-business (B2B) company, it is not a core part of Dow’s strategy to move down as far as the consumer level, adding: “Getting closer to the consumer is a benefit [of the Olympic sponsorship] rather than a strategic objective.”

($1 = €0.76)

By: Will Beacham
+44 20 8652 3214

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