GE strikes Games gold with sales of £64m

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The Independent Online

The industrial giant General Electric won sales of more than $100m (£64m) as it helped to get London ready for the Olympic Games.

The company, which sells power generators, lighting systems and medical equipment, has garnered $1 billion in infrastructure sales since it became associated with the Olympics in 2006.

"It is perfect for us," said its chief executive Jeff Immelt, pictured, praising GE's role as a top-tier Games partner. "We are so global, it is a great global brand and it takes us to places that are important for the company: China, London, Brazil and Russia. These are all places where the company has a big footprint so the sponsorship has made a lot of sense for us."

GE is one of 11 worldwide partners who pay the International Olympic Committee for the association with the Games and aim to recoup the outlay through contracts and heavy marketing programmes. Others include Coca Cola, credit card firm Visa and Procter & Gamble.

"We are all business people so we want to do things that make sense but we like the association with the rings and the brand," added Immelt. "It is not only about money, it is about the association and being in places."

For London 2012, GE provided medical scanners for the polyclinic in the athletes' village and charging stations for a fleet of electric cars. It also supplied 14,000 lamps to illuminate the main stadium, as well as refitting Tower Bridge's lighting system.

GE, which also makes aeroplane engines, locomotives and wind turbines, joined the Olympics' corporate family for the Winter Games in Torino in 2006.

Its deal means that it is already working towards the Sochi Winter Games in Russia in 2014 and Rio's Olympics in 2016.