London 2012 replaces sponsor Nortel with Cisco

July 10, 2009 By ROB HARRIS , AP Sports Writer

(AP) -- London Olympic officials on Friday replaced bankrupt Canadian technology sponsor Nortel Networks with Cisco for the 2012 Games, a move that will cost organizers $19.4 million in revenue.

Nortel, which has begun selling off its assets, could no longer provide the network infrastructure services required for the games, the London 2012 organizing committee said.

While Nortel was a "tier one" sponsor providing around $65 million in cash and services, Cisco will only be a "tier two" provider.

California-based will fulfill all of Nortel's obligations, but London organizers estimate that it will provide about $20 million less in cash.

"Nortel acknowledges our fixed deadlines and our desire to have a single supplier for our entire network infrastructure have been impacted by Nortel's decision to move towards standalone businesses," London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton said. "This is in no way a reflection of their capabilities - this is all about meeting our fixed deadlines."

Organizers have raised almost $810 million by signing up 20 sponsors providing services and cash. The sponsorship target is between $1.05 billion and $1.13 billion.

Nortel, a company with a 127-year history in Canada, became the first major technology company to seek protection in the global downturn in January.

Nortel is in advanced talks to sell the rest of its operations after agreed to buy some wireless operations.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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