IOC sponsorship coffers further swelled by P&G renewal
By Simon Ward
The International Olympic Committee has received an endorsement from another major partner, with Procter & Gamble, the household products giant, today prolonging its worldwide sponsorship deal until 2028.
USA-headquartered P&G has been part of the IOC’s TOP programme since coming on board ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and its new contract takes in four more summer and winter games.
The value of the agreement has not been disclosed but the programme, which presently comprises 14 companies, generated $548.2 million in 2019, according to new figures from the IOC.
The announcement of the extension comes one year out from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which had to be postponed by 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
P&G was one of several partners whose deal was due to expire at the end of this year but which was rolled over to 2021 as a result of the delay.
The company was already an active supporter of the Paralympic movement, and had signed up as a top-tier domestic gold partner of the now-postponed 2020 Paralympics, but will henceforth have global rights to the games under the long-term collaboration agreement between the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee, which comes into effect after Tokyo.
In addition, as part of its new commitment, P&G is launching the 'Athletes for Good Fund', a joint initiative with the IOC and the IPC under which grants will be made to causes being promoted by Olympics and Paralympics athletes and aspiring competitors.
A total of 52 grants, one a week, will be awarded over the next year, leading up to the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on 23 July, 2021.
The application process will be run through the IOC’s Athlete365 platform, with games athletes and hopefuls serving their communities in areas of community impact on Covid-19 relief, equality and inclusion, and environmental sustainability eligible to apply.
To mark one year to go to the Olympics, P&G has pledged to honour all existing athlete endorsements until at least 2021, and is rolling out a digital video series, entitled 'The Measure of Greatness', to highlight the stories and community initiatives of many of those it works with.
P&G’s new deal covers the Olympics, Paralympics, Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics of Beijing 2022, Paris 2024, Milan-Cortina 2026 and Los Angeles 2028.
IOC president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday: “Procter & Gamble has been a true partner to the IOC and a powerful force in supporting the ideals of the Olympic Movement. As we mark one year to go until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, we are delighted to announce that we will be ‘stronger together’ with P&G until 2028. Looking to the future, we have prioritised clear purpose-led initiatives that support the IOC’s vision of building a better world through sport.”
Mark Pritchard, the chief brand officer of P&G, added: “As a TOP Partner of the IOC for the past 10 years, we are extremely proud of the work we’ve done together. As we look forward to the next decade, we recognise the opportunity and the responsibility to use our sponsorship of the Olympic Games for broader impact.
"In the spirit of the Olympic Movement, we’re making a shared commitment through our partnership to create positive change in the world in the areas of equality and inclusion, environmental sustainability and community impact. We will use each of the next four Games as a milestone to measure progress and leave a meaningful legacy behind.”
Earlier this month, Atos, the France-based information technology company, extended its TOP sponsorship deal until 2024, and P&G’s renewal leaves Dow Chemical and General Electric as the only current partners yet to commit beyond Tokyo 2020.
The agreements with Bridgestone, Intel, Panasonic and Toyota run to 2024, Alibaba, Samsung and Airbnb to 2028 and Omega, Coca-Cola and Visa to 2032.
While the IOC faces significant additional costs from the postponement of the 2020 Olympics, financial statements published in the wake of last week's IOC session show that the organisation achieved a surplus of $73.9 million in 2019.
This was a record for a non-Olympics year, and compares with a deficit of $325.8 million in 2015, the year before the last summer games in Rio.
Financial income amounted to $159.6 million, up from $27 million in 2018, while there was a ‘fair value increase’ in financial assets of $81.9 million, up to $4.7 billion as of 31 December 2019.
The TOP programme accounted for $1.65 billion in income in the three years to the end of 2019.
The IOC is absorbing costs of $800 million from the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, of which $650 million is going to the reorganisation of the games, and $150 million to support international federations, national Olympic committees and other IOC-recognised organisations impacted by the Covid-19 emergency.
It was revealed last week that the IOC had already provided $100 million in aid, comprising $63 million to IFs and $37 million to NOCs.