International Olympic Committee (IOC) marketing commission chairman Gerhard Heiberg has revealed McDonald’s is poised to become the latest high-profile partner to commit to the Olympic Games through to 2020.
The American fast food chain’s current contract as a TOP Partner is due to expire following this year’s London Olympics and Heiberg has stated a new eight-year deal is set to be sealed during the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics, which commences in Innsbruck on Friday. Heiberg told Reuters: “The situation is positive and I don't see any obstacle. We are very close. We will meet in Innsbruck and finalise everything. Hopefully we will sign the contract there.”
The new four-Games deal would take in the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics in Sochi and PyeongChang, the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the 2020 event, which is yet to be allocated a host city. The length of the agreement would mirror US network NBC’s record broadcast contract, which was agreed last year and will cover the same editions of the Olympics.
McDonald’s has been an IOC sponsor since 1976. The IOC’s TOP programme currently consists of 11 companies – six of which have already committed through to 2020 in the shape of Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, GE, Omega, Procter & Gamble and Visa. Atos Origin, Panasonic and Samsung have extended their deals through to Rio 2016. Computing firm Acer’s agreement is set to expire at the end of London 2012.
Heiberg added that deals will not extend past 2020 as the IOC plans to reform its TOP programme beyond that date.
By Matt Cutler