BMW of North America is the first foreign-car sponsor to be announced for the US Olympic Committee. This six-year sponsorship deal is reportedly worth $24 million.
After the 2008 Beijing Summer Games, General Motors Co. has ended its support of the Olympics. It was reported that GM was spending up to $5 million annually to support the committee, standing for about 4% of its ad budget.
BMW's sponsorship will span the Olympic Committee and four national teams: bobsled and skeleton, speed skating, swimming and track and field.
As part of the deal, BMW will provide the teams' technical support and let them use some of the automaker's facilities, including a wind tunnel in Munich.
The sponsorship deal was announced by Jack Pitney, BMW's vice president of marketing, along with the US Olympic Committee at a company-owned BMW dealership in Manhattan.
Pitney was accompanied by Apolo Anton Ohno, the eight-time Olympic medalist and short-track speed skating champion.
In an interview before the event, Pitney had said that it was a "good fit" and that it was all about "performance and shared values." He said that the values of being strong and athletic fit in with what BMW is all about. He also talked about BMW's innovation and efficient-dynamics sustainability program.