A plan to resurrect the Olympic Stadium wrap, a 900m hi-tech fabric curtain surrounding the Populous-designed showpiece venue, has been launched
London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton opened up the bidding for a private sponsor to supply the wrap which was controversially scrapped last October to save £7 million following the Government’s spending review that month. Savings of £20 million had been called for.
Companies who lodge expressions of interest by the February 18 deadline will be in line for sector exclusive marketing rights as part of the procurement.
London 2012 said it is looking to explore possible sponsorship opportunities.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) guidelines do not allow branding in venues, so the wrap will not display sponsor logos during the Games but the offer to reinstate the wrap is also a high-profile deal.
More than four billion people worldwide are set to see the 80,000-seat venue when they tune in for the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the athletics competitions.
Deighton said: ‘We have had significant interest in supplying the stadium wrap from the private sector so now is the time to start a formal tender process.
‘There are some exciting ideas around and we are running a process that is fair to those organisations that have expressed an interest.’
London 2012 has raised £670 million of a £700 million domestic sponsorship target. It must raise £2 billion from the private sector to stage the Games.
It is billing the wrap deal as one of the last high-profile opportunities for a corporate sponsor to link-up with the £9.3 billion Olympic project.
Information on the tender is available on CompeteFor - London 2012’s business opportunities website.
The wrap design was launched in November 2007 at a packed event on the 100 metres straight at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London.
Organisers stressed the innovative wrap, complete with graphic colours, mosaics, projected animations and Olympic-related images that could change, could be one of the iconic global images of the Games.
It was to be a lively and useful way to conceal the functional workings of the arena such as the girders and breeze blocks. It could even offer some shelter to spectators in the event of rain.
They promised a variety of options from projecting the flags of competing nations or the pictograms used to represent each sport.
In light of this, the axeing immediately sparked criticism that it would leave the key venue looking unfinished while stadium architect Rod Sheard warned the wrap was an ‘integral part’ of the stadium.
Talks had even begun with a firm which could turn the fabric into bags which could be sold after the Games, organisers said at the original stadium launch.