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LA 2028 Olympics officials hope new sponsorship strategy results in revenue boost

David Wharton, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Olympics

LOS ANGELES -- Facing pressure to deliver the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics on budget, local organizers have signed an unusual deal they hope will guarantee crucial revenue.

LA 2028 announced Wednesday that it will partner with NBCUniversal to sell media and sponsorship deals in tandem. Normally, organizers and broadcasters work separately, sometimes at odds with each other.

NBCUniversal has also made an undisclosed financial commitment to the host committee, a pledge that could ease concerns about LA 2028's goal of reaching $2.5 billion in domestic sponsorships.

"This has not been done with a media partner before," LA 2028 chairman Casey Wasserman said. "This is really unique."

Though the host committee has sought to limit expenses by using existing venues such as Staples Center and the Rose Bowl, staging the 2028 Summer Games will cost $6.2 billion, according to the most recent estimate.

If LA 2028 cannot generate enough dollars, taxpayers would be left to pay the bill.

 

The Los Angeles City Council has agreed to serve as a financial backstop, and California legislators have similarly pledged up to $270 million in state tax dollars to cover any potential deficit.

Organizers have repeatedly insisted they can balance their budget -- and perhaps finish with a surplus -- through revenue streams that include ticketing and licensing. They also expect to receive about $2 billion from the International Olympic Committee's global revenues. But selling those domestic sponsorships remains key.

When L.A. agreed to take the Summer Games in 2028, letting Paris go first in 2024, a big part of the agreement involved greater flexibility in making such deals.

Still, their $2.5 billion prediction is ambitious -- even with Tokyo 2020 reporting a record $3 billion in sales -- given a web of complex business relationships.

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