May 27,2014 ISN – Japanese Tyre giant Bridgestone Corp will sign-up as a top tier worldwide sponsor of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in a 10-year deal that will cover Tokyo 2020, it has been reported.
The a multinational auto and truck parts manufacturer based in Chūō will pay 35 billion yen (£204 million/$344 million/€252 million) to become a TOP partner in a deal that will be signed next month, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported.
The agreement will allow Bridgestone to use the Olympic logo globally for advertising and other publicity purposes in a period that will also cover Rio 2016 and Pyeongchang 2018, as well as Tokyo 2020 and the 2022 and 2024 Olympics, which have yet to be awarded.
Under the TOP programme, only one company is selected from a specific industrial sector.
In the 1980s, three Japanese companies, Panasonic Corp., Brother Industries Ltd. and Ricoh Co., were TOP sponsors.
But Panasonic is the now only Japanese company who have a sponsorship deal with the IOC having signed a new contract in February that extends its sponsorship agreement until 2024.
The deal will be seen as a coup for Tsunekazu Takeda, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020, who was last month appointed to head the influential IOC Marketing Commission by new President Thomas Bach.
The appointment was widely interpreted as a sign that the IOC saw Asia as its most fertile area for new sponsors with the continent due to host the 2018 Winter and 2020 Summer Olympics.
Bridgestone was founded in 1931 in Fukuoka.
Its name comes from a calque translation and transposition of ishibashi, meaning “stone bridge” in Japanese.
It has nearly 150 production facilities in more than 25 countries.
Bridgestone has been actively involved in sports sponsorship for several years, including last year signing a deal until 2017 to become the title sponsor of Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of Europe’s UEFA Champions League
It also a sponsor of the International Ski Federation’s Alpine Ski World Cup events and involved in the National Football League, National Hockey League and the Professional Golfers Association in the United States.