The Beijing Olympic Games has already established many new records for the Olympic Movement. It is the first time in the history of the Games (the post sponsorship era which began in 1984) that the local sponsors are investing significantly larger sums, in some instances exceeding that which is coming from the long-term sponsors with which the IOC has signed agreements. This has posed a major challenge for the IOC since it has to preserve its commitment to the perennial sponsors while at the same time facilitating the local sponsors as much as possible.
The Olympic Games offer one of the most prized opportunities to sponsors for global recognition. Given that the world's most recognised symbol is the Olympic Rings one can readily understand the appeal of the Games to sponsors.
Of course with China rapidly waking up to be one of the global economic giants there is reason enough for everyone to want a piece of the global recognition pie that is the Olympic Games 2008.
Every member of the Olympic Family, now sporting some 205 members, wants to be in attendance at the Beijing Olympics and be part of history in 2008.
Already teams have commenced training in preparation for the Games. The World Junior Championships in Athletics, hosted by the International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF, in Beijing in 2006 provided an opportunity for the world to gauge the level of preparation being undertaken for the 2008 Olympics. The IAAF's World Outdoor Championships set to commence in Osaka, Japan, on 25th August this year will provide yet more evidence of what countries are doing with their track and field stars for next year's big event. Of course athletics is the single most attractive component of the Summer Olympics bringing in the largest attendance and income for the IOC and the Organising Committee.