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IOC adds to Japanese top-tier partners with Toyota deal

Automotive company Toyota was this (Friday) morning unveiled as a top-tier partner of the International Olympic Committee in a deal that will run through to the 2024 Olympic Games.

The value of the deal was not disclosed publicly, but media reports from Toyota’s home country of Japan said that the car manufacturer would pay a total of $835m (€746m) for the rights.

The top-tier deal will be activated in 2017, but Toyota will have marketing rights in Japan with immediate effect. The worldwide agreement therefore covers four editions of the Olympics, from 2018 to 2024, including the 2020 winter Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Toyota, which is the first car company ever signed up by the IOC to its ‘TOP’ programme of worldwide partners, will promote its various brands, such as Lexus and Scion as well as its main marque, through the deal.

Toyota has acquired exclusive partnership rights in the mobility category, which includes vehicles, mobility services and mobility solutions. The IOC said that Toyota would work with the various local organising committees to provide “sustainable mobility solutions… including intelligent transport systems, urban traffic systems and vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems.”

“This is a very symbolic day,” IOC president Thomas Bach said. “It is the first time in the successful history of the TOP programme that we have had a mobility category. It is in the spirit of the Olympic Agenda 2020 not just in terms of innovation but also in terms of sustainability in mobility.”

Toyota president Akio Toyoda added: “The addition of the mobility category to The Olympic Partner Programme is important recognition for our entire industry.”

There are 11 other TOP partners, including soft drinks giant Coca-Cola and fast food chain McDonald’s. Toyota joins fellow Japanese firms Bridgestone and Panasonic on the top-tier programme.