ECONOMY

The Athens 2004 sponsorship bonanza

Three years before the next Olympic Games, Athens 2004, the organizers, have overshot the financial target of their sponsorship program. Hellenic Post (ELTA), which was chosen as the postal and courier services sponsor on Monday, will offer 2 billion drachmas in cash and an additional 2 billion in kind, bringing the total offered to date to 72.7 billion drachmas, or more than 107 percent of the financial target of Athens 2004. ELTA was the seventh Grand National Sponsor following Alpha Bank, OTE-CosmOTE Telecom, FAGE and Delta Dairy Industries, Hyundai, Hellenic Radio Television (ERT) and Athenian Breweries. National sponsors are still pending for three more categories, namely security, air transport and coastal shipping. ELTA’s cash sponsorship payment will be in the form of a percentage from the sale of products and services jointly agreed with 2004. ELTA is planning a 2001-2004 Philatelic Program and an exhibition of Olympic stamps, as well as the issuing of special stamps and souvenir series with a view to raising the level of the sponsorship beyond the minimum 4 billion drachmas. Officials say each sponsorship opens up two communication pies, the official sponsor’s who must communicate his identity and that of his competitors in the respective business sector who usually seek pirate methods to link their products and services with Olympic events. Yesterday, the cosmetics group Sarantis announced it had obtained the right to market men’s and women’s perfumes with the Athens 2004 Olympics emblems. Following the capital increases, Neorion’s equity capital now amounts to 23,463,874 shares valued at 6.39 billion drachmas.