Tokyo Olympics top sponsors to pay at least $128 mln: reports

Tokyo (AFP) - Sponsors wanting top billing at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 will have to cough up a minimum 15 billion yen ($128 million) for the privilege, Kyodo News reported on Monday.

Seven companies, including brewer Asahi, telecoms giant NTT Docomo, and Toyota, the world's largest automaker, are expected to be among the bidders for the prestigious title of "Gold Sponsor".

Footing the sponsorship bill buys companies the right to use the Games logo and slogans in advertisements for the duration of the contract, which runs until the end of 2020.

Tokyo organisers are aiming to raise at least 150 billion yen through the sponsorship bidding war, Kyodo News reported, without identifying its sources.

The companies have already forked out 600 million yen over four years to the Japanese Olympic Committee's own sponsorship programme.

If the price tag for the top sponsor is accurate, it would represent a hefty premium on what it cost for the 2012 Games in London, when Coca Cola paid an estimated $100 million, according to data compiled by The Guardian.

Sponsors will be divided into three ranks and only one company will be selected per category. It was not immediately clear if the auction process would be restricted to domestic firms.

The rank below Gold Partner will be "Official Partner", with the reserve set at 6 billion yen, Kyodo said.

Third tier sponsors wishing to be "Official Supporters" will pay between 1 to 3 billion yen to participate, the agency added.

The final bill for a sponsor may vary, depending on the terms of the contract, it said, with the first sponsor being decided as early as this month.