By Daniel Hunter

Businesses which worked on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including thousands of Olympic Delivery Authority contractors and supply chain companies, are now able to champion their involvement, thanks to a landmark deal between the Government, the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The scheme will give companies the recognition they deserve for their part in making the Games happen. It’s designed to provide a real boost to the country’s economy, helping firms get fresh work on the back of their involvement with London 2012.

The new deal will benefit companies that were involved in building the venues and infrastructure for the Games, including the Olympic Park, as well as firms which played a part in the staging of the world’s biggest sporting event. They will now be able to do more than ever before to highlight their work on the Games, in dealings with other businesses and the media, as well as receiving an official designation as a London 2012 supplier. The BOA is receiving £2 million from the Government to operate the new supplier recognition scheme.

Companies can apply to the BOA for a free licence that will let them promote their work at trade shows at home and abroad, enter industry award schemes, and highlight their role in business pitches and tender documentation when competing for international contracts. And firms will get exclusive access to the ODA’s library of more than 4,000 photographs.

The relaxation of the rules affecting promotional activity by UK companies was a key recommendation of last summer’s report by Sir John Armitt, setting out how this country could maximise business benefits from the Games.

Sir John welcomed the announcement: “Businesses in Britain can now really build on the huge amount they have already achieved. UK firms won 98% of more than £6 billion worth of contracts to construct venues and infrastructure for the Games, helping their finances in a difficult economic climate, keeping workers in jobs, boosting skills and equipping firms to win lucrative contracts in the future, at home and abroad. This ground-breaking new scheme will let them make the most of London 2012 and their involvement.”

This agreement marks the first time that, following an Olympic and Paralympic Games, companies that supplied goods and services will have the opportunity to promote their involvement to help develop new business.

The supplier recognition scheme licence covers ODA and LOCOG suppliers as well as sub-contractors. The scheme is intended to exclude providers of bulk materials to sub-contractors or where the link to the London 2012 Games is tenuous or incidental. Suppliers whose goods and services are in categories covered by IOC sponsors will also not be eligible.

In the run up to London 2012, during the Games, and for the immediate months thereafter, suppliers of goods and services were legally restricted from promoting their involvement. This was due to restrictions to protect the value of the London 2012 sponsors’ investment — sponsorship that helped pay for the staging of the Games.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is working to secure an £11bn economic boost for Britain from the Games, with trade missions to Brazil, host of the World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympics, and Qatar, which will stage the next World Cup in 2018. Businesses with London 2012 experience have the potential to win significant contracts from future host nations.

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