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For week ended May 23, 1999 Posted 4 Jun 1999

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New sponsers step in for the Olympics

Summarized by Eric Bunker

New sponsers step in for the Olympics
(BYU) Daily Universe 18May99 L4
By Carolyn Moore: NewsNet Staff Writer

Last Saturday evening at the Olympic mascot debut, three Utah companies, Marker Ltd., O.C. Tanner and Questar were presented as new sponsors for the games, which have been struggling to sign up and retain sponsors since the Olympic scandal broke.

The Marker Company will be the official outfitter, providing uniforms for volunteers and working staff members of the games. O.C. Tanner, (which is owned by an inactive member of the Church), will provide the victory and commemorative medals. And Questar, a Utah based natural gas utility, will provide its products, selected facilities, and technical services. It will also provide the natural gas for the Olympic Flame cauldron.

SLOC has not had a new sponsor since last year with two major companies, Johnson &Johnson and John Hancock having pulled their sponsorship earlier this year because of the declining public confidence as the result of the scandal.

Gary Benson, a member of the Utah State Government Watch-Dog Group, has been opposed to the Olympics coming to Utah since the scandal broke. He has being very aggressive in encouraging Olympic sponsors to withdraw their support. Benson had asked SLOC for a list of all Olympic sponsors, but they refused, so he went after them using the open records law.

Benson said in a letter to Olympic sponsors that the games are being conducted in an "illegal, unethical, immoral, incestuous, corrupt and self-serving" manner. He is also afraid of terrorism because of current U. S. military actions

However, the three new sponsors are positive about their role in the Olympics. "The Games are coming, and we feel it's important, at this critical time, for business to get behind the effort," said Don Cash, Questar President and CEO.

Officials from SLOC also think that this is just the beginning of renewed support for the 2002 games.

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