Dec 19, 2023

Pilsner Urquell Takes a Stand: Withdraws Sponsorship from Paris Olympics Over Russian Athletes

Pilsner Urquell has announced that it will not be sponsoring next year’s Summer Olympic Games in Paris due to the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s decision to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in the event.

Following Radovan Vitek’s CPI Property Group, which also terminated its cooperation with the Czech Olympic Committee, this move underscores a growing protest within the Czech business community.

“Pilsner Urquell will not support the upcoming Games under the current conditions and is withdrawing from all communications related to the Olympics,” the beer producer declared.

The company remains committed to financial support for Czech athletes, redirecting funds initially intended for the Olympics to benefit local sports and athletes.

The decision to withdraw from all communications related to the Summer Olympics in Paris is a joint effort with the Czech Olympic Committee, marking a departure from previous campaigns the company had undertaken.

Zuzana Dudová, marketing manager of Pilsner Urquell, expressed disappointment in the IOC’s decision. “We have always supported Czech Olympic athletes in the name of shared values such as fairness, humanism, and belonging. Unfortunately, the IOC’s decision does not align with these principles,” Dudová explained.

While supporting Czech athletes, Pilsner Urquell emphasizes celebrating their achievements at events consistent with their core values. The company’s decision reflects a stance against the IOC’s move to include Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Paris Olympics.

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The CPI Property Group, another official partner of the Czech Olympic Committee, also recently terminated its collaboration in response to the IOC’s decision.

“The Games in Paris will serve as a platform for Russian propaganda,” warned Zdenek Havelka, the executive director of CPI Property Group.

CEZ, a major energy company, affirmed its support for Czech athletes and distanced itself from calling for a boycott. “Sanctions against Russia cannot be confused with support for Czech athletes,” stated Ladislav Kříž, the main spokesman of ČEZ.

However, he suggested reconsidering Czech officials’ involvement in IOC structures in protest against Russia’s actions.

Sponsors such as CEZ, Alpine Pro, Sazka, and T-Mobile have expressed opposition to the IOC’s decision but are not currently planning to end their cooperation.

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