Kodak to end Olympics sponsorship


Following the closing ceremonies of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Eastman Kodak Company will conclude its sponsorship as the Official Imaging Sponsor of the Olympic Games.
"The Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee have played a major role for Kodak historically, helping us to showcase products, innovations, and services," said Kodak’s Elizabeth Noonan, Director, Brand Management.

"As we complete the transformation of Kodak, it makes sense for us to take a new direction," Noonan said. "Digital technology changes everything, including the way we market our products and services. Our new business strategy requires us to reassess our marketing tactics as well, and adapt them to changing market conditions and evolving customer behavior."

Kodak is one of 12 sponsors in The Olympic Program, the top-tier partnership level for companies supporting the Games. Kodak will fully participate as a TOP sponsor through the 2008 Beijing Games. These include operating a 20,000-square-foot Kodak Image Center for accredited photojournalists to process, edit, and upload their photos of Olympic athletes; a polyclinic for diagnostic imaging and treatment of athletes’ injuries; and accreditation badging for thousands of Olympic participants, families, volunteers, guests, journalists and officials.

Kodak signed an eight-year agreement valued at more than 100 million to continue as a global sponsor for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, the 2006 Winter Games in Turin and the 2008 Summer Games.

RBR observation: Kodak’s transition to digital hasn’t been an easy one. The more likely reason for this pullout is to simply save money. Kodak has had 2.1 billion in net losses over the last 11 quarters. Its work force will slip to around 34,000 at year-end, half what it was five years ago, according to The AP.