After nearly a year without announcing a new major sponsor, Sydney 2002 Gay Games organisers have confirmed that bottled water company Hot Water will offer cash sponsorship for the event.

The deal will see Gay Games receive an undisclosed five-figure upfront sponsorship fee and a further six cents from all bottles of Hot Water sold between now and the end of the Games.

Hot Water will also give 10 cents from every bottle of water sold to the AIDS Trust of Australia.

Gay Games co-chair Bev Lange told Sydney Star Observer that the organisation has not earmarked any particular area of the Games to directly benefit from the new sponsorship, but suggested funds generated from the deal could be used to bolster the event’s cultural program.

The Hot Water agreement marks the first major sponsorship deal since the appointment of Lange and CEO Geoffrey Williams to the organisation in May last year.

[Securing new sponsors] has certainly occurred slower than we originally expected. I believe that the events of 11 September have put a pause in our approach to securing sponsorship and companies’ preparedness to talk about sponsorship, Lange said.

Lange also claimed new sponsorship deals between corporate sponsors and the Gay Games are currently on the table and are likely be announced soon, but could not elaborate further.

News of the Hot Water sponsorship deal has arrived in the same week as the resignation of Gay Games marketing and communications manager Steve Cook.

Cook told the Star that his decision to leave the Games was simply because it was time to move on. He maintained a positive outlook on the viability of the sports and cultural festival.

There is a very talented and hardworking group of people involved in the organisation and they deserve the support of the community, Cook said.

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