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Monday, March 27, 2000
Olympics.com signs first sponsorship contract

  SYDNEY, Australia (AP) Ń Olympics.com, the official Web site of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, signed its first Internet sponsorship deal today when it contracted San Francisco-based LookSmart as its search engine and directory provider.

  SOCOG spokesman Jonathan Rust said Olympics.com was expected to become the most popular sports event Web site ever, attracting more than one billion hits.

  At a board meeting February in Sydney, the International Olympic Committee said the Internet would play a larger role in promoting the Olympics in the future, although it hadnŐt awarded interactive rights for Sydney due to contracts with existing TV broadcasters.

  IOC marketing director Michael Payne said there had been a quantum leap in Internet technology since the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

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