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London Olympics electrifies GE

india Updated: Jul 30, 2012 22:59 IST

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General Electric Co (GE) sold about $100 million of lights, power supplies and medical devices for the London Olympic Games, less than for Beijing’s massive build-out but still enough to justify the largest US conglomerate’s sponsorship, officials said on Monday.

Since signing on as a top-level Olympic sponsor in 2005, GE has generated about $1 billion in revenue from selling equipment for the stadiums and athlete villages in Torino, Beijing and Vancou-ver — with about half coming from China’s 2008 games.

“At the time when Beijing went for the Olympics, they invested a lot. There was just a lot more to be built and developed,” said Beth Comstock, GE’s chief marketing officer. “London has a much more measured appro-ach in terms of infrastructure, but we certainly are happy that we participated.”

The backers of the London games spent about $14 billion in building new Olympic venues and overhauling existing sites, less than the estimated $40 billion that China spent.

The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company declined to say how much it paid for its Olympic sponsorship — Olympic contracts prohibit sponsors from disclosing the amount — but said the revenue from Olympic projects has justified its sponsorship.

“It has been easily justifiable, a no-brainer in terms of the return,” said Comstock.

GE's sponsorship contract runs through 2020. While the world’s largest maker of electric turbines and jet engines no longer owns a majority stake in US Olympic broadcaster NBC Universal it still finds that the sponsorship has paid off, Comstock said.