Citi Wrapping Up USOC Renewal


(from Sports Business Journal, March 18, 2013) Citi and the U.S. Olympic Committee are in the process of finalizing an agreement allowing Citi to return as the official retail bank of Team USA for the 2014 Sochi and 2016 Rio Games.  The proposed deal is valued at $15 million over 4 years.  TD Ameritrade also announced last week its plans of returning as the official brokerage for Team USA.  These deals ensure the USOC can retain both its banking partners represented at last summer’s London Olympics.  The deals with Citi and TD Ameritrade add to a strong start to the year for the USOC, as they have already recently signed new deals with Hilton Honors and J.M. Smucker Company.

The deal was not easy to achieve, as Citi fired their CEO following the London Olympics and replaced him with Michael Corbat.  Citi plans on eliminating over $1 billion of its costs and around 11,000 jobs beginning in 2014.  Citi will also not have the same deal as before, which was the first of its kind and include a package of sponsorship and advertising on NBC during the London Games.  Despite the lack of the previous package deal, Citi still saw enough value in renewing a partnership with the USOC to return as the exclusive sponsor for Team USA.

Citi plans on bringing back the “Every Step of the Way” program developed for the London Games.  The program utilized social media to allow Americans to donate over $500,000 to non-profit organizations represented by the athletes that had endorsement deals with Citi.  The program was a success and was recognized as the Cause-Related Campaign of the Year by numerous publications.  Citi is attempting to expand on their previous success by signing more Olympians and starting their promotion earlier in the path to the Sochi Games.

The renewal with Citi was a difficult task to achieve for the USOC, but it continues to enhance the buying power associated with the Olympic Games and could interest other major corporations to get involved in the future with the USOC.