Kodak Reaches Olympic Finishing Line

16 October 2007

ROCHESTER, New York: As Eastman Kodak moves from being a maker and seller of film and heads towards a digital future, the resulting change in marketing strategy has extinguished the flame of its longstanding association with the Olympic Games.

The company says it will cease its official film and imaging sponsorship after next year's Beijing event, bringing to a close more than a century's involvement with the Olympic movement.

Kodak reportedly pledged around $100 million (€70m; £49m) when it signed its latest agreement with the International Olympic Committee in 2000.

Comments Kodak spokesman David Lanzillo: "We fully intend to redeploy those marketing resources into programs and activities that bring us in direct contact with our customers."

Among those activities is the Scan Van - a mobile service that digitally scans old photographs and loads them into an online account - and the Inspiration Tour with its vast interactive display about digital photography that travels the nation's state fairs and NASCAR races.

Adds brand management director Elizabeth Noonan: "Digital technology changes everything, including the way we market our products and services."

Earlier this year General Motors also announced the end of its $1 billion sponsorship of the US Olympic team.

Its ten-year deal likewise lapses after Beijing, as the automaker seeks to find more flexible and cost effective ways to spend its marketing dollars.

Data sourced from AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff