Russian Olympic Bidders Retain B-M

BOSTON WPP Group’s Burson-Marsteller has been hired by the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games bid committee to handle public relations in support of the western Russian city’s quest to host the 2014 games, the agency said.

B-M will partner with Helios Partners in Atlanta on the project. The two shops recently teamed up to form a sports marketing strategic partnership. Prior to that official alliance, B-M and Helios worked together on Moscow’s 2012 Olympic Games bid. Those games were awarded to London in July.

“Russia has never hosted an Olympic Winter Games, yet it is one of the most successful Olympic winter sports powers with over 550 individual medals in 12 Winter Games,” said Dmitri Svatkovsky, Olympic champion and executive director of the Sochi 2014 bid committee, in a statement. “Sochi has over 20,000 high-quality hotel rooms and our professional, dedicated bid committee team is already working with a team of international winter sports experts to refine all areas of our games planning. We are looking forward to working again with Burson-Marsteller and Helios Partners as they have clearly demonstrated their expertise and passion for the Olympic movement, their dedication and their determination to help us win the right to host the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.”

The assignment, which has estimated budget of $1 million, was won after a review of undisclosed contenders.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Sochi 2014 bid committee and firmly believe that the city will be a strong candidate because of its unique Winter Games plan and Russia’s unequalled prowess and experience,” said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of B-M’s Brussels office, which is leading the account.

The final selection of the host city will be decided in Guatemala City in July 2007.