TOKYO—Bridgestone Corp. will be a sponsor of the Olympic Games, both summer and winter, through 2024, according to terms of an agreement the tire maker has signed with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Financial terms of the deal, which makes Bridgestone the “official tire” of the Olympic Games, were not disclosed.
Japanese media reports put the value at about $340 million over the 10 years. Bridgestone CEO and Chairman Masaaki Tsuya said the deal will allow Bridgestone to “...communicate on a global basis our commitment to society as well as our brand message.”
Bridgestone said the partnership provides a “strategic global platform” that will allow it to reach customers with new activation and communication methods, build awareness of its brands and technologies and continue globalizing its operations.
“As a global corporation,” Mr. Tsuya said, “Bridgestone is excited to partner with the entire Olympic Movement, a group of organizations that not only brings together the world's athletes at the greatest athletic festival, but also blends this celebration of sport with a spirit of service to community, social responsibility, a respect for diversity and a commitment to the fundamental principles of Olympism.”
Bridgestone's sponsorship deal is part of The Olympic Partners (TOP) program created by the IOC to help provide funding for the games. As part of the agreement, Bridgestone will supply tires and related services to support the transport operations at games time, including the vehicles for the athletes, media and officials, the IOC said.
Mr. Tsuya announced the agreement at a press conference and ceremony in Tokyo attended by IOC President Thomas Bach and other company and IOC dignitaries and guests. The deal is effective immediately and will allow Bridgestone to start its promotions in connection with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In addition, Bridgestone has been granted sponsorship activation rights in Brazil, South Korea, Japan and the U.S. through 2016. Beginning in 2017, Bridgestone's activation rights will extend globally and will include the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and Olympic Games to be held in 2022 and 2024 in cities yet to be elected.
The agreement also includes the activation rights at any Youth Olympic Games which may be held during the term 2017 to 2024. Mr. Bach said the TOP program “benefits all future games organizers and all the national Olympic committees and their athletes, ensuring athletes from all over the world...are able to compete at the Games.”
Mr. Bach said the IOC redistributes more than 90 percent of its revenues to the “wider sporting movement.” The TOP program generated nearly $1 billion in revenue during the 2009-12 period, according to the IOC. The agreement also covers Bridgestone's seismic isolation bearings and non-motorized bicycles.
While Bridgestone did not divulge the value of the sponsorship deal, it should be noted the company used to spend tens of millions of dollars annully to support its involvement in Formula 1 motor racing, and the company recently disclosed its exit next year from MotoGP, where it's been the sole tire supplier for the past six years for motorcycle racing's top global platform.