Mega-consultancy Atkins is understood to be the first construction company to sign up as an official commercial sponsor of the 2012 Olympics. Under the proposed move, reported in this week’s New Civil Engineer, Atkins would provide the Olympic Delivery Authority with engineering services at no cost. In return, it would become a “Tier 3 sponsor”, securing the right to use the London 2012 logo on advertising and promotional material.
The move would allow Atkins to sidestep the ODA’s No Marketing Rights protocol, which prevents construction companies and other suppliers to London 2012 from using the Olympic logo or even the phrase London 2012 in their marketing material.
The strict regime is designed to ensure that only official commercial sponsors – including Coca-Cola, Omega and Samsung – can exploit the marketing spin-offs of being involved in the games.
In other Olympic news, Building reports that Jason Millett, formerly the youthful chief executive of Bovis Lend Lease and latterly chief executive at developer Artisan, has recently joined Mace. As the company is part of the Olympic delivery partner CLM, the transfer puts Millett in key role overseeing construction of the main Olympic venues, including Balfour Beatty’s work on the aquatics centre, Carillion at the media centre, and Sir Robert McAlpine on the main stadium.
But the Olympic Village is still suffering in the credit crunch. August’s interim deal between the ODA and developer Lend Lease pending a full financing agreement has now been thrown into doubt by the tightening of the credit market. ODA chairman John Armitt, speaking at a Labour conference fringe event organised by Building, said the ODA had secured “more than half” the funding needed, but that “getting any form of loan from the private sector at the moment is very difficult.”