October 20, 2009: Even in the midst of executive turnovers and strategic challenges, the U.S. Olympic Committee is keeping its focus on upcoming Olympic Games and events. Next month, the USOC and presenting sponsor Hilton Worldwide, its portfolio of 10 hotel brands and other USOC partners will commemorate the 100-day countdown to the opening ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver with an event in New York on Nov. 4. The Games will run Feb. 12-28, 2010.
In addition to presenting sponsor Hilton Worldwide, associate sponsors for the "100 Days Out" event include Coca-Cola, McDonald's, 24 Hour Fitness, Acer and Anheuser-Busch.
The event is scheduled to take place at Rockefeller Center and include demonstrations from all eight winter sports events; appearances by past, current and future Olympians, and Paralympians; and a bevy of sponsor-oriented activities. The promotion comes as the USOC searches for a new CEO to replace acting CEO Stephanie Streeter and just a month after Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Games received an underwhelming response from voting members on the International Olympic Committee.
"The Olympic Winter Festival is a true celebration of the Olympic movement," Jeff Diskin, svp-global consumer marketing for Hilton Worldwide, said in a statement. "Hilton Worldwide is proud to help celebrate this milestone in anticipation of the upcoming Olympic Winter Games. We are looking forward to hosting travelers from around the world at our hotels during the Vancouver Games."
Hilton Worldwide will run a themed sweepstakes in conjunction with the program, which features prizes around the Vancouver Games. It will be promoted on Hilton Worldwide's Web site as well as on TeamUSA.org. Hilton Worldwide will also sponsor a "Making Team USA" daily update on TeamUSA.org, which follows the "individual journeys of athletes striving for spots on Team USA."
Among other activations:
• Coca-Cola will unveil its commemorative Olympic packaging featuring 12-ounce can graphics and also preview a series of athlete Webisodes, which will begin in December on TeamUSA.org. The Webisodes will chronicle the experience of "Making Team USA" for seven Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, including Paralympic alpine skier Heath Calhoun (Bristol, Tenn.) and the "Coke Vancouver Olympic Winter Games 6-pack" of speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno, snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler, hockey player Angela Ruggiero and figure skaters Evan Lysacek, Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker.
• 24 Hour Fitness will sponsor the U.S. Olympic 5-Ring Challenge, a sport aptitude test that gives participants the opportunity to evaluate their skill level and determine which Olympic sports may best be suited for them.
• Acer will show its latest line of Netbooks, Notebooks and LCD displays, including a range of special edition products distinguished by the Acer Olympic Games composite logo, showing the brand name and the Olympic rings together.
• People will be able to participate in recreations of all eight Winter Olympic sports — biathlon, bobsled/skeleton, curling, figure skating, ice hockey, luge, ski/snowboard and speed skating — and meet such former Olympic greats as Jim Craig of the "Miracle on Ice" gold medal hockey team from 1980.
"The U.S. Olympic Committee is looking forward to bringing the excitement of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to New York City," Lisa Baird, CMO for the USOC, said in a statement. "With the flurry of activity we have planned, fans will get an up-close-and-personal look at Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and have the opportunity to learn about and, in some cases, experience Olympic and Paralympic sports."