DCMS seeks £100m backing for British athletes

LONDON - The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) aims to raise £100m in private investment to support elite British sport. The move could involve the sponsorship of Olympic hopefuls by consumer brands.

The government is committed to providing £500m to UK Sport to support its elite athlete programme in the run-up to London 2012 and wants to raise an additional £100m from the private sector. The DCMS, now headed by Andy Burnham, has hired sports marketing agency Fast Track to investigate potential revenue streams to help the department reach its ambitious target.

Plans are at an early stage, but industry experts claim one option is to raise funds through the sponsorship of British Olympic athletes and teams. While the DCMS can offer no rights to brands, it may offer an alternative investment opportunity to those hoping to associate themselves with athletes around the games.

LOCOG has proved the appetite of UK industry to support British sport by signing up a raft of partners, including British Airways, for London 2012 before this year's Beijing Olympics begins. It is the first time an organising committee has secured domestic partnerships prior to the start of the preceding Games.

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