NBC to do interactive initiative to cross promote Olympics and 'The Apprentice'

MUMBAI: US broadcaster NBC and Mark Burnett who created the business based reality show The Apprentice have joined forces to create a promotion for the show.

Viewers can vote on for one of 12 US Olympians competing in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games to become a future candidate on season six.

For the first time in the history of the show Burnett has opened the casting to the viewers and at an Olympic level., America's online home of the Torino Games, isl conducting the voting in conjunction with the Opening Ceremony and concludes after the Closing Ceremony on 26 February. The winning Olympian will join the other candidates in Los Angeles.

The host of The Apprentice real estate tycoon Donald Trump says, "We are thrilled to have an Olympian in our midst. And while we've let the viewers do a hiring...I'm still doing the firing. So we'll let the Games begin this fall".

Burnett says, "There is no bigger promotional platform than the Olympics. I am honoured that NBC is utilizing one of its most cherished and powerful assets to help drive buzz for 'The Apprentice' brand. This promotion marks the first time I've ever invited the public to select a cast member for one of my shows. Our 'Olympic' Apprentice coupled with filming in Los Angeles will make for a fantastic sixth season."

NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel says, "One does not reach the Olympic Games without enormous drive, perseverance, ambition and a willingness to take a risk; traits required of business leaders. We are excited to have host the voting and to deliver the first candidate to season six of The Apprentice."

The 12 athletes represent a variety of Olympic sports, from skeleton, snowboarding and ice hockey to speed skating.

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