By Duncan Mackay at the Floxenia Conference Centre in Nicosia

European Olympic Committees President Patrick Hickey has urged National Olympic Committees to send their best athletes to Baku 2015 ©Getty ImagesBaku 2015 are hoping to announce up to another three sponsors in the next two weeks for the inaugural European Games, it was revealed here today, as the continent's National Olympic Committees were urged to prepare to "make history".

Procter & Gamble were announced as the first sponsor of Baku 2015 last Wednesday (May 21) and are set to be joined by several more within the next few days as the one year to go countdown on June 12 approaches.

"We will aspire to appoint eight official partners, each one of them enjoying advertising opportunities around the field of play," Simon Clegg, chief operating officer of Baku 2015, told delegates at the 35th European Olympic Committees (EOC) Seminar here.

"We announced our first official sponsor, [Olympic] TOP partner Procter & Gamble had joined us and I am confident we will make another two or three sponsorship announcements within the next 14 days."

The sponsors will hope the Games gain more visibility worldwide, as well as Europe, as it makes its debut on the calendar.

Procter & Gamble have signed up as the first sponsor of Baku 2015 ©Baku 2015Procter & Gamble have signed up as the first sponsor of Baku 2015 ©Baku 2015

More than 6,000 athletes from 49 countries are expected to compete in 19 sports at the Games, which are due to last from June 12 to 28.

"Make sure you send the best possible team to the European Games in Baku next year," Patrick Hickey, President of the EOC and architect of the European Games, urged the National Olympic Committees (NOC) here.

"We are on the point of making history, and you are part of that history.

"All the other continents have their Games and Europe is the only continent never to have had a senior Games.

"So it is incumbent on us to make this very successful and to make it work.

"We owe it to Azerbaijan, who are doing a superb job on their end.

"They need all the help and support."

James Macleod, director of athlete services and operations, also gave a presentation during which he updated the NOCs.

"We have made significant progress with our preparations for the European Games recently, and this was the perfect opportunity to keep the rest of Europe informed of our work," he said.

"We remain confident of making the EOC's vision of a successful multi-sport event that will be enjoyed by the entire continent a reality and it is important to keep them updated on our progress."

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