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It’s a wrap...sponsor to pay for 2012 Stadium banner

LOCOG has chosen US-based silicone textile producer Dow Corning to sponsor the 2012 Olympic Stadium wrap

Controversially axed as part of the government’s spending review last autumn, the £7 million stadium wrap has been resurrected thanks to a corporate sponsorship deal, the AJ can confirm.

Designed to stretch 900 metres around the entire stadium and protect the steel-frame building from cross winds, the iconic wrapping was originally planned to feature moving images of athletes when it was first revealed in 2008. As with all fabrics used on the Olympic site, the wrap will be made from non-phthalate silicon, according to AJ sustainability editor and author of London 2012 Sustainable Design: Delivering an Olympic Legacy Hattie Hartman.

In October, the government sparked criticism from stadium architects Populous when it killed off the colourful banner by axing £20 million from the 2012 Olympic Games budget as part of its comprehensive spending review.

Months later however, games organisers LOCOG asked for expressions of interest from businesses wishing to supply the wrap, announcing it would ‘explore possible sponsorship opportunities’ in a bid to revive the project.

The selection of Dow Corning – which operates a chemical plant in Wales and is a joint venture of Dow Chemical and ceramics producer Corning – is one of the final corporate sponsorship deals to be signed before the 2012 summer games.

Under Olympics rules all stadiums are branding-free and since Dow Corning is outside the list of official sponsors it is unlikely the company’s name will feature prominently in the design or within the Olympic Park during the games.

The stadium wrap has been plagued by controversy since its announcement. The 2008 planning application suggested the textile could be hemp – erived from the cannabis family of plants - however the ODA later denied this material would be used.

High-profile architects including Richard Rogers have also criticised the idea of the wrap, claiming the £486 million showpiece Olympic Stadium would be better off left bare.  

A spokesperson for LOCOG denied a sponsorship deal had been made but said: ‘We are in negotiations and working towards having a deal done.’

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