Cities tap firms for Games bid

LOS ANGELES: At least three of the cities confirmed to be on the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) list to host the 2016 Summer Games have hired PR firms for assistance.

LOS ANGELES: At least three of the cities confirmed to be on the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) list to host the 2016 Summer Games have hired PR firms for assistance.

Last week, the Tokyo 2016 Olympic Games bid committee selected Weber Shandwick to handle global PR support for its efforts.

WS previously managed winning Olympic bids for cities including Turin, Italy (2006 Winter Games), Beijing (2008 Summer Games), and Sochi, Russia (2014 Winter Games).

Tokyo is "poised to demonstrate to the world, with the strategic counsel of [WS]... its intensity and passion for hosting this quintessential international event," said Ichiro Kono, Tokyo 2016 bid committee chairman, in a statement.

Also relying on Western PR is Doha, capital of the Persian Gulf emirate Qatar. Last month, its 2016 bid committee retained Edelman affiliate Vero Communications to lead a global strategy.

In addition to providing counsel, Vero will also manage the international rollout of Doha 2016's PR campaign by Burson-Marsteller, set to launch on October 25. If Doha wins, it will be the first Middle Eastern city to host the Games.

The Chicago 2016 bid committee, already working with PR partner Hill & Knowlton on a national level, is now extending campaign efforts globally, said Patrick Sandusky, the agency's VP of sports and head of bid communications.

"Now we're not just Chicago's bid, we're America's bid," Sandusky said.

The IOC is expected to make a final host-city decision on October 2, 2009.

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