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Three advertising agencies that contributed to Salt Lake's Olympic bid are the finalists for a contract to come up with an image for the 2002 Winter Games.

The three - Harris & Love, FJC&N, and EvansGroup - all teamed up with out-of-state agencies to compete for the contract, which is scheduled to be awarded by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee Board of Trustees on June 6.The winner will be responsible for designing the image for Utah's Olympics, including a mascot that will be introduced at the close of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano.

Other image-builders include an emblem, sport pictograms, signs and other designs that will appear on everything from stationary to uniforms to identify the 2002 Winter Games.

The value of the image contract won't be determined until after it's awarded and organizers negotiate a deal with the winner, according to Mary Gaddie, image director for the 2002 Winter Games.

Organizers have budgeted $6.5 million for advertising and promotion alone, although the total cost of "branding" the Games with an image could be higher.

Twelve agencies responded to the request for proposals sent out by organizers in March, Gaddie said. Only two others were local agencies that bid with out-of-state agencies, she said.

"The Olympic committee encouraged the use of local agencies," Gaddie said. "We made that very, very clear." But organizers also wanted to use firms that had Olympic experience.

So the pairing of both local and out-of-state talent fit the bill, Gaddie and the other committee staffers who reviewed the requests submitted decided. She said the three finalists are all considered equally strong.

Harris & Love Inc. gave an estimated $400,000 in services to the city's Olympic bids for the 1998 and 2002 Winter Games. Their proposal includes help from a half-dozen firms, including several working with Atlanta.

FJC&N, which contributed stationary designs and video services to Salt Lake's Olympic bid, joined forces with Copeland Hirthler, which is also involved with the 1996 Summer Games.

EvansGroup, which loaned a public relations expert to the 2002 campaign, is proposing working with Landor, a San Francisco-based agency with offices all over the world that's part of both the Atlanta and the Nagano Games.

The first duty of the agencies chosen will be to get the community involved in dreaming up the central theme of the Games. Past suggestions have included incorporating Utah's pioneer heritage.

Atlanta's theme is "A Quilt of Leaves," intended to symbolize the city's natural beauty and cultural heritage of the American South. Half of the six agencies that make up the Atlanta design team are based in Atlanta.