Volume: 10 Issue: 4
London 2012 asked Dow Chemical to extend its partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to sponsor the Paralympics in a separate deal, organisers confirmed.
"Dow became a Paralympic sponsor for the London 2012 Games in July last year", said a London 2012 spokesperson. "London 2012 is the first time that the Olympic and Paralympic Games are being organised by the same Organising Committee. We wanted the London Games to be as integrated as possible so we encouraged all partners to become both Olympic and Paralympic partners."
The extension of sponsorship was not automatic and London 2012 did sign other separate deals for the Paralympics. In May 2010, Sainsbury's became the first Paralympic-only sponsor, signing the largest deal in the event's history.
UK for Bhopal Victims delivered a petition to London 2012 on 21 March, asking it to cancel the Paralympic deal 'as a mark of respect to 2nd & 3rd generation sufferers of the Bhopal Disaster and of Agent Orange'. Dow produced defoliants used in the Vietnam War known as 'Agent Orange', resulting in an estimated 500,000 birth defects.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) confirmed the deal as a London 2012 initiative. 'Dow Chemical has a contract with LOCOG, not the IPC, to be associated with the Paralympic Games in the UK and not worldwide' read a 29 February letter from Xavier Gonzalez, IPC CEO. 'Unlike the IOC, the IPC does not have a direct sponsorship with Dow.'