LONDON: It wasn't that British Airways' ceo Willie Walsh awoke to find a severed horse's head in bed beside him. Although someone had clearly – as the immortal Don Corleone put it in The Godfather – "made him an offer he couldn't refuse".

Indeed the very thought that another airline might beat the British flag-carrier to the title of Official Airline of the London 2012 Olympics would be sufficient for Walsh to awake with the cold sweats from such a nightmare.

No airline in BA's position could face the ignominy of that moniker going to another carrier. So, in the circumstances, a mere £50 million ($99.28m; €67.13m) for that must-have commercial accolade seems something of a snip.

And Chris Townsend, commercial director for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, will probably have enjoyed one of his less taxing rounds of negotiation.

BA now joins banker Lloyds TSB, sportswear giant Adidas and EDF Energy as official tier-one partners in the Olympian cashfest.

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff