The International Olympic Committee is now in the process of renewing sponsorships for its partners. The Olympic Partner (TOP) program comprises 10 companies that pay dearly for exclusive rights to market in connection with the Games, and that cost has just gone up.
The cost of a four-year sponsorship has doubled from approximately $100 million to $200 million, according to Sports Business Journal. Panasonic was the first company to re-up past 2020, signing a deal that will run from 2017 to 2024.
[Photos: Sochi stars of the Olympics]
Ten companies now comprise the TOP program: Atos Origin, Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, McDonald's, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, and Visa. All but Samsung and now Panasonic are signed through 2020, with Samsung's agreement scheduled to expire after 2016.
TOP sponsorships differ slightly depending on category, but the Panasonic deal firmly raises the bar. However, according to SBJ, some of the companies involved in the TOP program were surprised that the IOC decided to extend the deal to 2024, given that the IOC had said last year that it would not be extending deals past 2020. Coca-Cola has traditionally been the first company to extend its TOP partnership.
IOC officials noted that they are seeking to deliver more value to their partners, whether through increased sponsor presence in the Games or through additional, as-yet-unspecified new-media channels. Either way, Olympic viewers will see plenty of the sponsors who do pay for TOP status.
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