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Bell wins bid but Telus isn’t going anywhere

Telus promises continued support for events in Whistler



Telus has a huge presence in Whistler but as much as it might do for this community, it did not do enough to convince the Vancouver Organizing Committee that it deserved to be the official telecommunications sponsor for the 2010 Olympics.

Last Monday (Oct. 18) VANOC and Bell Canada announced they had formalized an eight-year, $200 million deal for the 2010 Games.

The deal is unique mostly because of the size of the purse but also because VANOC had only budgeted for domestic sponsors to contribute $20m to the Olympic bid.

Telus made a $135m bid for the contract but it also has a bigger presence in B.C. and Alberta and they gambled that this fact would give them an edge over Bell.

Telus also put in more than $4m in cash and donations in helping Whistler/Vancouver during the bid process.

But in the end the money talked and Bell’s bigger offer won.

The positive news for people in Whistler and B.C. is that, on top of what Bell is going to invest, Telus now has a wad of money to invest in other areas such as events and sports development.

Director of Marketing Shannon Taylor said Telus’s commitment to winter and amateur sport was "stronger than ever".

"We are as committed, or more committed than ever to advancing our relationships with the Whistler community, with Intrawest, with the events we have sponsored over a number of years including the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival," said Taylor. "And as you probably know we’ve just signed a deal to bring the (golf) skins game to Whistler next summer.

"We’re going to be the sponsor of the World Snowboard Championships in January, we are committed to the Telus Whistler Sports Centre and we are committed to the Telus Conference Centre.

"We also put money into the Whistler Foundation through the Telus Winter Classic, I mean the list is exhaustive – and it’s growing.

"Our commitment to amateur sport and to winter sports is stronger than ever."

While Telus might now be preparing to solidify their presence in the west, Taylor expressed some disappointment at VANOC’s decision and for good reason because the Olympics is proven to be one of the world’s most effective marketing tools.

Visa, Samsung, Coke, McDonalds and a raft of other multinational corporations contribute billions to the Olympic movement.

President of Bell Canada Michael Sabia spoke specifically of both Samsung and Visa and the enormous impact the Olympics has had on their brand.

Sabia said he expected this partnership to increase Bell’s mobile phone and satellite TV services by more than one per cent and this increase in market share equates to about $300m of value for shareholders.