Two major Olympic sports – track and field and speedskating –have lost key sponsors in the midst of a global economic slump.The South Korean electronics giant Samsung is cutting ties withtrack and field’s Diamond League series of top meets. The company’sdecision comes on short notice following last summer’s LondonOlympics.The International Skating Union also must begin looking for amajor sponsor. The Dutch energy supplier Essent said it will endits longstanding backing of speedskating after the 2014 SochiWinter Games.”To be honest, it is not easy,” ISU President OttavioCinquanta told The Associated Press. ”The international market isnot in the very best condition. One has to admit, there is someproblem. We will have to pay attention to what to do.”Soccer still has money-making capability in hard times.Manchester United proved that over the weekend when it clinched amajor eight-year sponsorship deal with the insurance firm Aonestimated at $230 million. But annual sponsorship commitments likeSamsung or Essent are counted in a few million dollars annually.That, however, doesn’t make the income any less essential.The ISU was fortunate in that Essent gave it a full year’swarning that it was ending a 16-year relationship.”Of course, we were not on the market (before) looking foranother sponsor,” Cinquanta said.Europe is a… Read full this story
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