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For week ended January 23, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

Marriott 2002 Games Sponsor
Associated Press 19Jan00 B4
By Hannah Wolfson: AP Business Writer

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The troubled Salt Lake Olympic Committee may have turned the corner in recovering from the 1998 bribery scandal, after it suffered from an 18-month dry spell in major deals. The SLOC announced that Marriott International agreed Wednesday to be an official supplier of hotel rooms for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and pledged at least $5 million, and maybe as much as $20 million to the cause. Marriott, founded by LDS Church member J. Williard Marriott and still run by members of his family, is the 25th company to sign on with the Salt Lake Olympics.

"We waited until things were settled and we really could see the direction it was going and we're very pleased with the direction it's going," said Marriott chairman and chief executive officer J.W. Marriott Jr., an LDS church member and former Stake President. "Maybe we're a little late, but here we are."

Marriott had originally discussed a donation of at least $10 million prior to the scandal, but it delayed its plans because of the scandal. Following the scandal, the SLOC went 18 months without signing a single sponsor. Other big companies like Johnson &Johnson also dropped out of negotiations and others, like John Hancock Financial Services, threatened to withdraw.

But the SLOC was supported by 10 large individual donors who gave $1 million each, including current SLOC head Mitt Romney, who is an LDS Church member and former Stake President in Boston. And Marriott isn't the only new sponsor signed. Internet employment service became the first '.com' to sponsor the Olympics, pledging $20 million on Tuesday. The SLOC expects to make another sponsor announcement on Friday. The SLOC estimates it still needs to raise $144 million from sponsors.


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