BUSINESS

Olympic Venue Naming Rights: Six Major Companies Reportedly In Bidding

09/15/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

BEIJING -- For sale: the right to name one giant bird's nest. Serious inquiries only.

For a price tag in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the manager of the "Bird's Nest" National Stadium is selling the 30-year rights to put a corporate name on the front of the Beijing Olympics' most prominent venue, as well as the rights to about 10 specific partnerships, such as soft drinks and technology, inside. Next door, Beijing's "Water Cube" Aquatic Center is also selling partnership rights, though so far only inside.

Ben Sturner, chief executive of New York-based Leverage Agency, which is helping broker both deals, says six multinational companies are competing for title rights to the stadium, which cost $500 million to build and whose steel superstructure resembles a bird's nest. He won't name them but says he has been taking top executives through a whirlwind sales pitch in recent days, including visits to high-profile Olympic events.

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