BP, the fuel giant, was today unveiled as an official partner of the inaugural European Games, the multi-sports event taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan in June next year.
BP becomes the oil and gas partner of the games in an agreement under which it will also assist elite athlete development in Azerbaijan, including helping to fund the development of aspiring medal hopes for the host nation ahead of the games.
Ian Sutherland, BP’s regional vice president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, said: “We are delighted to be able to support Azerbaijan as it starts to prepare for such a grand sporting event. We believe this presents a unique opportunity for the country as it makes efforts to become a greater centre for sporting excellence.
“This is also a unique opportunity for hundreds of enthusiastic young Azerbaijani nationals to develop new skills and knowledge adding to the country’s international events delivery capability. BP is pleased to be supporting the Games Academy initiative which we believe will enhance Azerbaijan’s overall capability-building efforts and will leave a strong legacy of project delivery.”
BP was a top-tier domestic sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The deal follows the announcement that Tissot, the Swiss watch brand, will be the official timekeeper and partner of the European Games, which are scheduled for 12 to 28 June, 2015.
Under the agreement, Tissot and Swiss Timing, its sister company in the Swatch Group, will provide all timing and scoring services for the event and will also have the right to use the Baku 2015 Games marks, logos, and designations on an exclusive, worldwide basis.
Tissot also supported the Baku 2015 One Year to Go celebrations yesterday by providing two official countdown clocks, one located in the city centre and one at the Heydar Aliev International Airport.
Simon Clegg, chief operating officer of Baku 2015, said: “I am delighted to welcome Tissot both as Official Timekeeper and an Official Partner of the Baku 2015 European Games.
“This association provides strong assurance for the timekeeping and scoring at the Games, and also the opportunity to promote Baku 2015 internationally through a high calibre brand of strong, international repute.”
Chefs de mission from national Olympic committees across Europe are visiting Baku this week for a seminar to learn more about preparations and progress for the games, and to take part in venue tours.
Patrick Hickey, president of the European Olympic Committees, which developed the European Games concept, said: “This is an important milestone for BEGOC and for the European Games product: the first ever Chefs de Mission seminar, and our greatest opportunity yet to connect with the NOCs of Europe. We are starting from a blank canvas with Baku 2015. We have the chance to be creative and innovative, and to deliver a brand new experience for the NOCs and their teams. I am confident these meetings will strengthen the bond between the NOCs of Europe and the European Games.”
The one year to go milestone was celebrated last night with fireworks, a gala dinner and a laser light show.
A total of 19 sports will feature at the games, comprising 16 Olympic sports and three non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes are expected to represent their nations over the 17 days of competition..
Baku 2015 said that nine of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016: archery, athletics, beach volleyball, cycling, shooting, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo and triathlon.