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Swatch to become official Olympic timekeeper

The deal is a first for both Swatch and the IOC

(swissinfo.ch)

The Swiss watchmaker, Swatch, is to sign a deal worth $150-200 (SFr246-328) with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to become the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games until 2010.

The partnership, to be signed on Monday, covers timing, scoring and venue results services.

It is the first time that the IOC has entered into a long-term agreement for the provision of timing, scoring and venue results services.

Swatch said in a statement that "following its success as Olympic timekeeper at the Atlanta and Sydney Olympic Games" the company would now be the official timekeeper for the next Summer Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, the Winter Games in Turin in 2006, as well as the Summer Games of 2008 and the Winter Games of 2010.

The IOC has extended Swatch's responsibility in previous games from timing and scoring services to also include on-venue results services. The agreement also covers the 2004 and 2010 Paralympic Games.

The deal is in line with the IOC's strategy of building up a long-term technology consortium, which is intended to ensure the successful delivery and transfer of knowledge from one Olympic Games to the next.

The IOC President, Juan Antonio Samaranch, said: "The Swatch Group has been, with very few exceptions, the timekeeper of practically all the Olympic Games of the 20th century. The IOC is very pleased to be extending its relationship with the Swatch Group over the next decade."

Commenting on the partnership, Nicolas Hayek, chairman and chief executive of Swatch said, "The Olympic Games fit perfectly with Swatch's strategy."

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