Salt Lake City – When the Summer Olympics open next summer in Rio de Janeiro, the festivities are likely to include a U.S. ‘national house’ that for the first time will be open to the public and provide visitors, athletes, exhibitors and their customers a place to meet, enjoy entertainment and learn more about the benefits of working with U.S. entities in the global economy.
The effort to change the image of the U.S. ‘house’ at the Olympics from a small entity catering only to medaled athletes into the face of America for an international community is spearheaded by Maxine Turner and her husband Marvin, who own Salt Lake City-based Cuisine Unlimited. The company has had a variety of catering roles at Olympic events in Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Turin, Italy; and Vancouver. Now they have formed a non-profit entity called the U.S. Welcome Foundation under which they hope to create what they see as a better U.S. Welcome Pavilion that will showcase the U.S. as a willing global partner for all types of events.
“We want the U.S. Welcome Pavilion to … become the representative arm of the U.S., always open to the public at no charge,” Turner told the Salt Lake Tribune when she launched the effort. Unlike other countries, the U.S uses no public funds for its pavilion at Olympic events. The U.S. Welcome Foundation is working closely with the U.S. Olympic Committee to make certain their efforts conform to all U.S. regulations concerning the Olympics
The Pavilion is envisioned to be part trade show and part public relations opportunity for those working on a global scale with sports ventures, tourism and convention promoters and other types of exhibitors.
In Rio, the Welcome Pavilion will be a two-story, 40,000 sf space that is expected to draw between 10,000 and 15,000 visitors each day. The lower level will have a restaurant, gift shop and sponsor booths that will range anywhere from 100 sf to 600 sf depending on the sponsorship level, as well as space to meet with guests and clients. Sponsorships include receptions, opening and closing ceremonies, press conferences, marketing materials and transportation between the airport, ceremony venues and the Pavilion.
Coca-Cola has signed on as the title sponsor and will provide beverages for the American Grill at the Pavilion. Gold, silver and bronze sponsorship costs range roughly from $1.5 million to $5.5 million. Trade associations, smaller companies and cultural organizations may choose from red, white and blue packages that range from $100,000 to $300,000 and will include space for receptions, conferences and dining throughout the Olympic events as well as signage on the Pavilion building.
Turner and her staff also are considering ‘theme zones’ within the pavilion for potential sponsors who wish to feature a program such as sustainability efforts, corporate responsibility programs or other facets of their corporate structure instead of showcasing products. The U.S. Welcome Foundation also is currently seeking bids from exhibition organizers to manage the project.
Reach Maxine Turner and Terri O’Connor of the U.S. Welcome Foundation at (571)645-3165 or firstname.lastname@example.org