April 3 - Sochi today announced that major Russian financial institution, Sberbank, has signed a $130 million (£87 million) deal to become a leading sponsor of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Sberbank will finance the key Gornaya Karusel Olympic venue, which will be home to the Russian National Ski Jumping Center and sub-media village for Sochi 2014.
The ceremony of the agreement signing saw the president and chief executive of Sberbank of Russia, German Gref, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Kozak, Sochi 2014 president and chief executive Dmitry Chernyshenko, join Russian National Olympic Committee representatives and Krasnodar regional administrators.
Gref, said: “The aim of the partnership between Sberbank and Sochi 2014 is to promote the Olympic Movement’s spirit and values in Russia.
"This key agreement will also help to promote healthy living and build on the incredible atmosphere enjoyed by Russian and international tourists in the wonderful city of Sochi.
“Sochi 2014 is a national priority project, so I’m happy that a leading Russian banking institution like Sberbank has become a major participant.
"As well as financing Olympic venues, we are helping develop a modern banking infrastructure for the Krasnodar region.
“In preparation for the 2014 Winter Games, I am sure that we will conquer our own Olympus - achieving the goals set out in Sberbank’s development strategy to become a global financial leader.”
Chernyshenko said: “We are inspired by Sberbank’s tangible commitment to the delivery of Sochi 2014 and the transformation of the Krasnodar Region by taking a stake and financing the development of a key Winter Games complex.
“In addition, Sberbank’s agreement to open special credit lines for contractors developing Olympic venues will be a major benefit to those organisations in today’s difficult global economy and another example of the guaranteed delivery of Sochi 2014.”
As part of the major benefits the Sochi 2014 Home City program will deliver to the local community, Sberbank will be integral to the development of new banking infrastructure in the Olympic Park and across the whole city of Sochi, Russian officials claim.
This will include the opening of new Sberbank retail services, introducing state-of-the-art self-service terminals and training for thousands of bank staff and volunteers.
Sberbank, whose are based in Moscow and whose history dates back to 1841, will also support the projects of other Sochi 2014 partner organisations and contractors delivering the Winter Games.
This will include opening special lines of credit to ensure contractors developing Olympic venues and infrastructure have access to the finance they need.
Sberbank will also maintain and service bank accounts and salary programmes for these companies.
These will include a "To the Olympic Games" programme with Sberbank, which will give people in Russia the chance to visit Sochi 2014.
Sberbank will also act as the distribution partner for the Olympic Lottery project and distribute a unique series of coins to commemorate the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.
The bank has approximately 20,000 branches across the country with 242,000 employees and earlier this month lent $2 billion (£1.3 billion) to Russia's neighbour, Belarus.
The agreement with Sberbank follows the recent announcements of Rosneft, MegaFon and Rostelecom as top-tier domesic sponsors of Sochi 2014.
Worldwide Olympic Partners already signed up in support of Sochi 2014 are Coca-Cola, Panasonic and Samsung.