January 7 - Avaya has replaced Nortel as a sponsor of the Vancouver Olympics and Paralympics, only five weeks before the Games are due to open, it was announced today.
Avaya now appears as "the Official Supplier of Converged Network Equipment for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games", a sponsorship Avaya inherited when it purchased Nortel’s enterprise solutions business.
The Canadian Government had agreed Avaya’s $915 million (£553 million) deal with Nortel last month because of their commitment to keep much of the Canadian unit’s employment intact and to making research and developments investments.
Avaya had won the Nortel division at an auction whose results were announced last September.
Nortel Networks, North America's biggest maker of telephone equipment and who are based in Toronto, had filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2009 and in June began seeking buyers for its divisions.
The financial problems also forced Nortel to withdraw from their sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and they were replaced by Cisco Systems.
Dave Johnson, the general manager of the Olympic programme at New Jersey-based Avaya, claimed that the Games in Vancouver are opportunity to introduce the new company to a global audience.
The company has been involved in sponsoring major global sports events before.
It was the "Official Converged Communication Provider" for the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups in Japan/South Korea and Germany.
Canadian business experts claim that accession to Avaya from Nortel in the Olympics sponsorship will boost Avaya’s presence in the Canadian market especially as well as globally.
Johnson, who had worked in the same Olympic role for Nortel, said: "It's an interesting time for us to be able to ride that wave of interest and enthusiasm and get people engaged in our new brand, our new company."
Avaya, has stuck to a "very rigidly formed return-on-investment model" sponsorship deal, originally negotiated by Nortel, Johnson claimed.
He said: "By all business metrics we have done a very good in capitalising on the Vancouver sponsorship.
"It has been highly effective at elevating our brand."