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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Wednesday, 21 November, 2001, 13:13 GMT
Sponsorship boost for Athens games
Athens' skyline
The games are to be held in Athens in 2004
Olympics' chiefs arrive in Athens on Wednesday to assess preparations for the 2004 games.

Already, the Greek government has faced criticism for delay in building infrastructure for the games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) visit will focus on venues, public infrastructure construction, transport, hospitality and the Olympic villages.

However, even as the Olympics' organisers face criticism for delays, some claim that Greece has already seen record business sponsorship.

Andreas Tsochantaris, the marketing manager for Athens 2004, says that the games have already exceeded their sponsorship target.

Record sponsorship?

Greece's Alpha Bank has committed itself to a record $70m worth of sponsorship, Mr Tsochantaris claims.

"A year ago, we were facing a non-existent sponsorship environment," he said.

"With less than 10 companies, we have achieved our financial target... we have a very good lead start."

High profile sponsors include Heineken, which has committed a record amount for a beer company, Mr Tsochantaris claimed.

Last year, the IOC warned Athens that the games could be in danger if it failed to improve its organisation.

Prime Minister Costas Simitis has taken charge of preparations and last month appointed a group of deputy ministers responsible for 2004 projects.

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Andreas Tsochantaris, Olympics' marketing manager
"A year ago, we were facing a non-existent sponsorship environment"
See also:

20 Apr 00 | Sport
Athens Olympics in jeopardy
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