As The Olympic Partner (TOP) Programme goes from strength to strength, Athlete365 looks at what the Worldwide Olympic Partners do for athletes

The Olympic Partners (TOP) programme is the highest level of Olympic sponsorship, granting category-exclusive marketing rights to the Summer, Winter and Youth Olympic Games to a select group of global partners.

The programme, which was created by the IOC in 1985, attracts some of the best-known multinational companies in the world and their support benefits the Olympic Movement – and athletes – in a variety of ways. Here, we highlight five reasons why these Worldwide Olympic Partners are great for athletes…

1 They help fund sport around the world
Much of the revenue that the IOC generates from the TOP Programme is redistributed to the entire Olympic Movement, including the International Federations. This means that Olympic Partners provide valuable financial resources to support the development of sport – at all levels – worldwide.

2. They support Olympic athletes in every country
The IOC also redistributes sponsorship revenue to every National Olympic Committee, providing financial support for the training and development of Olympic teams, Olympic athletes and Olympic hopefuls. Over the years, this has meant that more athletes from more countries have been able to compete at the Olympic Games.

3. They help stage the Olympic Games
Staging the Olympic Games wouldn’t be possible without the help of the Worldwide Olympic Partners, who provide support in the form of products, services, technology, expertise and staff.

4. They provide essential Games-time services to athletes
As well as providing direct support for the training and development of Olympic athletes and hopefuls around the world, the Worldwide Olympic Partners also provide essential services for athletes participating in the Games. This includes everything from drinks and personal care services to smartphones and medical treatment.

5. They help increase support for Olympic athletes
As part of their sponsorship agreements, Worldwide Olympic Partners are granted global marketing rights to link their brands to the Olympic Games. As part of this, they often launch large-scale advertising campaigns that help promote the Olympic Games – and Olympic athletes – to a wide audience all over the world. This not only increases public awareness about the Games, but also increases support for Olympic athletes.