Seven of Turkey’s leading conglomerates have pledged to contribute to the bid to bring the 2020 Summer Olympics to the Turkish largest city of Istanbul, with sponsorship deals worth 3.2 million U.S. dollars, local newspaper Today’s Zaman reported on Sunday.
An earlier meeting in Berlin in January resulted in seven firms, including Turkish Airlines, Koc Holding, Ulker, Dogus Group, Digiturk, Sabanci Holding and Turkcell, pledging investments as high as 20 million U.S. dollars to sponsor the games, according to the report.
Sports Minister Suat Kilic has announced the deals alongside representatives from the seven companies in Istanbul, saying, “Before our sponsors became involved in the process, we felt all alone. … When they decided to provide their support, we realized we were one big family.”
The minister said the seven firms will put up 3.2 million U.S. dollars in sponsorships, an amount which he said represented “50 percent of the burden.”
Istanbul is competing in the final three with Madrid and Tokyo for the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. This is the fifth bid Turkey has made in the last six selections. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will elect the host city in a vote in September in Buenos Aires. Last week, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pledged “full support” for Istanbul’s 2020 bid.