NASHVILLE (July 27, 2016) — It's tough to find a seat at the most exclusive Olympics sponsorship table, but Bridgestone Corp. has one of the 12 chairs for at least the next eight years.
Now comes the real work.
The firm secured a deal in 2014 to become part of The Olympic Partners program, which gives it exclusive global sponsorship rights. The company joins Coca-Cola Co., McDonald's Corp., Dow Chemical Co., Omega Ltd., Panasonic Corp., Visa Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., General Electric Co., Proctor & Gamble Co., Atos S.E. and Toyota Motor Corp. as TOP sponsors of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Bridgestone's agreement runs through the 2024, spanning three summer and two winter Olympic Games — with the next three events taking place in the Asian region, including Bridgestone's home city of Tokyo in 2020.
“Joining the Olympic movement as one of just 12 global partners provides an incredible opportunity to strengthen Bridgestone's awareness in markets globally, both where we're well known and where we're growing, and to connect our brand to something larger than our businesses or borders,” T.J. Higgins, president of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations' integrated consumer tire group, said in an email interview.
“The decision to partner with the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic movement was also a natural evolution of sport as a business and marketing platform for many decades.”
Mr. Higgins added that while Bridgestone is a TOP partner, it does not have global activation rights until 2017. For the 2016 Olympics, it has marketing rights in Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Japan and the U.S. The firm also had less time to plan its Olympic program because it signed two years into the Brazil cycle.