Volume 92, Issue 12

Wednesday, September 23, 1998



Corporate support foams up

By Dave Yasvinski
Gazette Staff

The 2001 Canada Summer Games said cheers at a press conference Thursday to its newest corporate sponsor, Labatt Breweries.

Phil Bowman, co-chair of the 2001 London Alliance Canada Summer Games Host Society Inc., said the brewery announced their involvement would be to the amount of $500,000 in funds and promotional support.

"The corporate sponsorship program is an absoute key portion of the package," he said.

The Host Society's budget for the games is close to $28 million – $15 million of which must be supplied by corporate sponsorships, said Bowman. "Donations from corporate sponsors make it possible for us to do this project. Government support is substantial but we can't do this without corporate support."

London Deputy Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco stressed the importance of this kind of corporate sponsorship. "For the Canada Games, corporate sponsorship is a fundamental element of how well the business element comes together. The bid [for the Canada Games] was one based on the fact we said we could raise a certain amount of money."

Sandy Levin, London councillor for ward two, said these sponsorships are absolutely critical right now. The Host Society has budgeted around raising a certain amount of money.

"It's mandatory – it's part of their business plan. They said they'll get all sorts of money from the private sector and I would not be supportive of making up the shortfall," he said.

Jeff Newton, director of public affairs with Labatt Breweries, said the sponsorship is a part of their commitment to the community. "We've had a long history in London. Labatt was initiated in London over 150 years ago – it's our home town," he said.

A number of initiatives are planned to promote the games and assist in selling tickets, Newton added. "We think this is a pretty important social and cultural event for the community. It's an opportunity for us to promote ourselves and show support for this event – we want to make sure these legacies for the community happen," he said.

DeCicco agreed one of the biggest positives of the Canada Games is the legacy they will leave behind. The facilities that will be upgraded in addition to the new stadium will allow London to host even more events in the future.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998