According to a report published today on the insidethegames.com website, Adidas, the German-owned sports brand, is about to be unveiled as the latest top tier sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics in a Â£80 million deal.
Adidas will join the two other top tier sponsors so far announced, LloydsTSB and EDF.
Officials at London 2012 have arranged a series of events for Thursday this week featuring the Tyson Gay, the 100 and 200 metres world champion, and Allyson Felix, the triple gold medallist from the Osaka World Championships. Both Americans are sponsored by the sportswear company.
The events planned include turning the Millennium Bridge, across the Thames between Bankside and St Paul’s, into a 100m race track where Gay and Felix will be joined by 20 12-year-olds.
Adidas’ association with the Olympic Games stretches back to 1928 when the company’s shoes were worn at the Games for the first time.
Among the athletes to have worn Adidas shoes when they won gold medals were Jesse Owens when he claimed four titles at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and Emil Zatopek when he took an unprecdented triple of 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon in Helsinki in in 1952.
Most notoriously, the entire business of high-paid sportskit deals is said to have begun at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, when German sprinter Armin Hary flaunted the then strict amateur rules when wearing Adidas spikes.
The agreement with London 2012 will see Adidas provide more than 1.4 million products to federations, volunteers, officials and others.
It will be the third consecutive Games that Adidas has fulfilled this role.
Adidas has also had a relationship with the British Olympic Association to provide kit for teams competing in the Games that goes back to 1972, famously including Daley Thompson’s two decathlon gold medals in 1980 and 1984 (pictured above).
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