Former Canucks chief operating officer joins VANOC 

Dave Cobb has been named Senior Vice President, Revenue, Marketing and Communications for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Cobb was chosen for the position after an extensive search. The committee received more than 200 applications in addition to headhunting nationally and internationally.

Cobb joins VANOC after spending 12 years with the Vancouver Canucks and Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, where he is credited with helping to turn the ailing NHL franchise around. He started with the Canucks as controller in 1992, after five years as senior manager with national accounting firm, KPMG Peat Marwick Thorne, where he directed the annual audit of the Canucks.

John Furlong, VANOC’s chief executive officer, was enthusiastic about Cobb’s appointment: "Dave's passion for sport, combined with his broad business experience, will serve us well as VANOC works with Canadian businesses and organizations to develop relationships with Games sponsors and secure the necessary revenues needed to stage a spectacular Games," he said in a press release.

"The enthusiasm in the corporate community for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, for sport and for our athletes has been building in the year since we won the 2010 bid. VANOC will soon be in a position to start negotiating sponsorships and Dave will lead our efforts in this area."

Cobb will move to his new position on Aug. 1, where he will be responsible for leading and managing all of the revenue generation, marketing and communications activities of the Games. Primary amongst these responsibilities are sponsorships, television revenues, ticketing, licensing and merchandising, marketing, communications and media relations.

For his part, Cobb believes he’s fit for the job and is anxious to begin in his new position.

"John has presented me with an incredible opportunity and I am thrilled and honored to join the team that will stage the 2010 Games," Cobb said. "To be part of the Olympic games in my hometown is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I can’t wait to get started."

As a member of VANOC’s senior management team, Cobb will have a shared responsibility for the leadership of the organization and for the ultimate success of the Games.

One of VANOC’s next tasks will be to determine how much of the $3 billion dollars worth of recently negotiated Olympic broadcast contracts Vancouver will receive. On Tuesday, the IOC confirmed a $746-million-US contract with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) for rights in 51 countries. This deal represents a 40 per cent increase from the previous EBU contract.

Last year the IOC concluded a $2.2 billion agreement with General Electric and NBC for North American broadcast rights. At this point, with IOC negotiations for Japan, Australia, Italy and Canada still pending, VANOC is unsure about what percentage of these contracts will go to Vancouver.

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