September 9 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s TOP worldwide sponsorship programme is set to generate a record $1 billion (£636 million/€755 million)-plus in the 2013-2016 quadrennium, with the prospect of more deals still to come.

Timo Lumme, the IOC's television and marketing director, told insidethegames that, with some five months to go before the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, the running total for the current TOP programme was over $1 billion (£636 million/€755 million) in cash and value-in-kind, with 10 partners having signed up.

Lumme also disclosed that the IOC was actively working on two further partnerships.

These could, in the most favourable circumstances, take TOP revenues for the Sochi 2014-Rio 2016 Olympic quadrennium to within range of $1.2 billion (£763 million/€908 million), compared with $950 million (£604 million/€717 million) in 2009-2012.

Such an advance would be welcome at a time when the rate of growth in IOC broadcasting revenues has slowed markedly in relation to the big jump achieved in 2014-2016.

One of the possible new deals is likely to be in the computing/information technology area, and looks set to cover Rio 2016 only.

With technology converging at a rapid rate, the parameters of such a deal would probably be broader than past TOP programme computer agreements, however.

"I think the days of having a stand-alone computer category are probably gone," Lumme said.

He also explained that Samsung, the IOC's TOP partner in the wireless communications category, had signed a local extension covering laptops and PCs for the Sochi Games.

For Rio 2016, Lumme said, "everything is still possible".

The 10 TOP sponsors already signed up for 2014-2016 are Atos, Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, McDonald's, Omega, Panasonic, P&G, Samsung and Visa.

The programme has grown enormously since it began by generating $96 million (£61 million/€72 million) for the IOC in the 1985-1988 quadrennium.

In recent years, however, this explosive initial growth has inevitably slowed.

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