IOC marks 25th Anniversary of the TOP Programme
The Olympic Movement’s global sponsorship programme, known as TOP (The Olympic Partners), began 25 years ago, and to mark the event IOC President Jacques Rogge hosted a reception in Lausanne, Switzerland, for guests from around the world who helped create the original TOP Programme.
President Rogge said: “Over the past few decades, the TOP Programme has gone from strength to strength, which is testament to both the original idea of creating the programme and the continuing power of a partnership with the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games. I would like to pay tribute to my friend, the late Honorary IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, who had the vision and confidence to develop a pioneering global Olympic marketing programme. His dedication, coupled with the work of the many people involved in the Olympic marketing programmes over the last 25 years, have been a major contributing factor to the health of the Olympic Movement today.”
Gerhard Heiberg, Chairman of the IOC Marketing Commission, said, “Throughout its lifetime, the TOP programme has evolved and adapted with the times, particularly when you take into account the development of the world economy, the evolution of sports marketing and the impact of the digital revolution. We have built long-term partnerships with some of the world’s leading companies, and together we have developed the TOP programme into what it is today. Recently, we have witnessed exceptional Olympic Games in both Beijing and Vancouver, which not only broke sporting records, but also set new standards in terms of audience figures and commercial support for the Olympic Movement. We already have partnerships in place for the next decade and believe strongly that the TOP programme will continue to grow and develop, and, above all, continue to provide essential support for the Olympic Games, the Olympic Movement and the Olympic athletes.”
Partnerships between the modern Olympic Movement and commercial enterprises have been central to the IOC through its 116-year history; however the first global Olympic sponsorship programme was not created until 1984, following the Los Angeles Olympic Games.
The Worldwide TOP programme generates revenues that are distributed throughout the Olympic Movement including to the Organising Committees of the Olympic Games, the National Olympic Committees and ultimately to support the athletes. Not only does this money help finance the staging of the Games, it also goes towards developing sport across the world.
In addition to the financial support generated by sponsorship, each Olympic partner’s products, technology and expertise are vital to the success of the Games. Partners also help promote the Games worldwide through their marketing campaigns and sponsorship activations, helping the Olympic Movement reach a wide global audience.
Through this commitment, the Olympic partners provide the foundation for the staging of the Games and help more athletes from more countries participate on the world’s biggest sporting stage.
Over the course of its 25-year history, the TOP Programme has involved over 24 global, industry-leading companies in the programme. The programme is managed by the IOC’s Marketing Commission, which was initially chaired by IOC Member Richard Pound, Q.C., and currently is chaired by IOC Executive Board member, Gerhard Heiberg. The programme has grown with each edition and has become truly international. In the current cycle, the IOC has already reached agreements with nine partners through to 2012. The current partners of the programme are: Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos Origin, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung and Visa. Six partners are already signed through to 2016 (Coca-Cola, Atos Origin, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung and Visa), and three partners (Coca-Cola, Omega and Visa) through to 2020.