Winter Olympics sponsors have ensured that no athlete will leave empty-handed this February - by providing every competitor with a £500 mobile phone.

Samsung Electronics Co. is offering a free Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone to each of the 2,500 athletes expected to take part during the fortnight, as part of their commercial partnership with Sochi 2014 organisers.

The move, which was announced by the electronics company on Wednesday, will allow athletes "to enjoy, capture and share their Olympic Games experience in a smarter way", according to the South Korean firm.

Samsung Electronics spent £6 billion on marketing in 2012, in addition to existing sponsorship deals with several UEFA Champions League football clubs - including Chelsea and Bayern Munich - as well as seven national teams.

The organisation also announced its intention to sponsor 80 Winter Olympics hopefuls from 20 countries in the run-up to the event, led by Italian five-time luge medallist Armin Zoeggeler and Austrian ski jumper Gregor Schlierenzauer.

Great Britain snowboarder Billy Morgan, who will receive funding from Samsung as part of the programme, told the Daily Telegraph that sponsorship is an important factor affecting his hopes of winning a medal in Russia next year.

He to The Telegraph: "There’s a lot of travel, and we're competing in resorts that are expensive holiday destinations, so having those costs brought down has made a big difference for everyone."

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