Sponsors fire starting gun on Olympic PR strategies

British Airways and the National Lottery are among the first sponsors off the mark.

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games sponsors have started to ramp up their PR activity as the countdown to the Games begins.

Official partner British Airways encouraged pilots to make announcements as they flew in and out of London on Tuesday to mark the count-down. The brand also gathered sound bites for media use from BA ambassadors and former Olympians Denise Lewis and Mark Foster, while Foster was at the Olympic Park on Tuesday.

The National Lottery marked its investment in Olympic venues last Friday by sending a balloon above the Olympic Park. The event, at which 20 different media outlets were present, featured Olympic bronze medallist Louis Smith.

Peter Keen, director of performance at UK Sport, the body that distributes National Lottery Good Causes funding, said of the event: 'The hot air balloon tour is a great way for the public to meet local elite athletes and for those athletes to be able to thank Lottery players for their support.'

Meanwhile, a Coca-Cola spokeswoman said: 'We are focusing on using our sponsorship to motivate people across the world to make lasting changes to their behaviour, whether by recycling more or getting active in their local communities.'

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