The Washington Times - November 17, 2008, 11:15AM

A prominent sponsor of the Olympic Games has dropped out, leaving the 2010 Games in Vancouver and 2012 Games in London without a key level of financial support.

Johnson & Johnson told Sports Business Journal that it will not renew its so-called “TOP” partnership, which could have brought the Olympic movement as much as $100 million over the next four years.

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“We are not renewing that sponsorship to enable us to focus on other business priorities,” J&J spokeswoman Lorie Gawreluk told the trade publication in an e-mail. “We are proud to have been a sponsor of the [International Olympic Committee] and the Beijing Olympics, which was a success for the company.”

Rumors of J&J’s departure had persisted for months, but the company official stance during and immediately after the Beijing Games was that it was still evaluating all of its options. SBJ suggested that J&J was among a number of sponsors who were unhappy with the level of foot traffic at Beijing’s Olympic green.

I wrote back in August that many worldwide sponsors would not be renewing their deals for future games.

J&J’s departure follows the exodus of Kodak, Manulife and Lenovo from the list Olympic sponsors. The International Olympic committee managed to replace Lenovo with Acer, but the remaining three may go unfilled.