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Sponsorship for Populous’ London 2012 stadium wrap confirmed

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Populous has welcomed news that US conglomerate Dow Chemical is sponsoring construction of its £7 million Olympic Stadium wrap project

Confirmation of the deal comes over three weeks after the AJ revealed the company would sponsor the banner.

Dow will only be allowed to advertise on the 25 metre-high panels until one month before the games open due to rules governing sponsorship on stadiums during the Olympics.

Delivery of the 336-panel banner which will stretch 900 metres around the entire stadium was cast into doubt following government funding cuts, however it is now expected that the completed product will be unveiled soon. Details of its graphical design have yet to be revealed.

Rod Sheard, senior principal of Populous and design team leader for the project said: ‘The team has worked hard to achieve the design we unveiled 4 years ago and the wrap is one of the last elements to be put into place. 

‘It will provide a clear and memorable identity to the stadium. We are very pleased with the announcement, as the wrap completes the enclosure of the structure and gives form to the lightweight frame that supports the elegant white roof.’

Dow merged with Union Carbide Corporation in 1999. The latter company’s subsidiary Union Carbide India ran the Bhopal pesticide plant which suffered a gas leak in 1984. The event was considered one of the world’s worst environmental disasters and killed an estimated 3,000 people.

The stadium wrap has been plagued by controversy since its announcement. The 2008 planning application suggested the textile could be hemp – derived 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.  

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