The sponsorship target of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens has already been bettered.

Or at least, so says the event’s marketing manager Andreas Tsochantaris, who revealed that Greece’s Alpha Bank has signed up to a record $70 million sponsorship deal.

“A year ago, we were facing a non-existent sponsorship environment,” said Tsochantaris. “With less than 10 companies, we have achieved our financial target ... we have a very good lead start.”

One sponsor is Heineken, which Tsochantaris says has committed the highest amount ever from a beer company.

The news is a welcome boost to the Athenian organisers, under criticism for delays in preparations for the games.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)