RBC nabs Olympian multi-plat deal

Consortium deals are heating up as the 'event of the century' looms closer.

Canadian financial giant RBC has announced a ‘significant’ multi-platform sponsorship deal with Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium. The deal includes advertising opportunities in the Vancouver 2010 and Paralympic Winter Games, as well as the Olympic Torch Relay.

Keith Pelley, president of Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, called the deal ‘one of the most integrated and robust’ in Canadian Olympic history. While a dollar value was not revealed, Pelley described it as a ‘tier one’ deal. Meanwhile, one senior media buyer who has dealt with the Consortium estimates its value to be ‘at least $20 to $25 million.’

While the specific elements of the sponsorship deal are being kept under wraps, Pelley said RBC will utilize all of the Consortium’s media assets, which include English, French and multi-lingual television stations, radio stations, the Globe and Mail and associated websites. The deal gives RBC exclusivity in the financial institution products and services category.

‘[RBC's] support of amateur sports over the years has been phenomenal,’ said Pelley. ‘It was a natural fit, and we’re excited to have them on board.’

‘The strength of this deal is a product of the advantages brought to the table by RBC and the Consortium,’ said Jim Little, RBC’s chief brand and communications officer, in a release. ‘Each partner will benefit from an efficient and effective integrated media platform.’

‘We’ve created a unique partnership with Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium – one that brings together the right combination of assets that allows RBC to activate our Olympic sponsorship to reach Canadians.’

With only 114 days remaining until the Opening Ceremonies, Pelley says the Consortium has deals worth more than $125 million – ‘in excess of our goals’ – already in place. And, he added, there are more to come.

‘If I said it was heating up, it would be a gross understatement,’ he said in a telephone interview from the Richmond Olympic Oval on Tuesday. ‘We certainly wish there were more than 24 hours in a day. [Advertisers] are not looking at it as sporting event or a media event,’ he added, ‘but as the event of the century.’