When it was announced in August that Dow Chemical planned to spend $10.8 million to have its name emblazoned in a fabric wrap around London’s Olympic stadium for the Games next summer, there was an angry outcry, particularly by athletes and Olympic organizers in India.
After all, it was there that the Dow subsidiary Union Carbide leaked enough gas and chemicals to kill approximately 15,000 and leave many others sick back in 1984. There was even talk that the Indian Olympic team would boycott the Games, but that was rejected on Saturday.
Dow didn’t own Union then, but Indian residents are feeling the fallout and Dow’s name doesn’t exactly inspire the Olympic spirit in many Indian residents. Now TheHindu.com reports that Dow has “agreed to remove all its branding from the London Olympic stadium.”
The company decided to waive its right to the wrap, the paper notes. “The agreement between Dow and (the London Olympics organizing committee) was limited to branding of five ‘test panels’ that were to be removed in the months before the Games and were not part of the final design,” a spokesman for Dow said, the Hindu reports. “In mid-summer, LOCOG and Dow discussed Dow deferring the rights to these five panels to allow free and full execution of the design as determined by LOCOG. Dow agreed to this to support Locog’s and London 2012’s vision for the stadium wrap.”
However, there were supposedly talks between Dow and the Olympic Park Legacy Company about Dow being involved with the stadium after the Games are over. FirstPost.com reports that the possibility of Dow being involved with the Games or the park at all is unsatisfying to Indian Olympic committee members.
“Our demand is that Dow should be removed as a sponsor and we have expressed strong reservation with the Olympics,” said IOA acting president VK Malhotra, according to the site. “We are sending our communication to Dow as well as IOC on this regard. So all that we want is that it should be removed as a sponsor and we won’t be satisfied if only the logo is removed.”
In other Olympic news that Britain likely wasn’t expecting, “the number of visitors to Britain in 2012 could fall by up to 4 percent because of people put off coming by the Olympic Games,” the Financial Times reports, even though the Brits are spending $38.7 million around the globe to promote the destination.
That falloff tends to follow in the years after the Olympics as well, FT notes, which is why the country started a $155 million “international tourism marketing campaign over the next four years.” Flat growth next year would represent “a major achievement,” the tourism bureau said.