SBD/May 15, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

Omega Makes It 100 Years As IOC Sponsor After Extended Deal Through '32 Games

The extension was negotiated directly by Swatch Group and the IOC
Swatch Group-owned watchmaker Omega has extended its global Olympic sponsorship through '32, becoming the first of 13 IOC TOP sponsors to extend beyond '28. Specific terms were not disclosed, but the 12-year extension is Omega's first deal since the IOC repriced TOP deals in the ballpark of $200M per quadrennial in '14 -- double the prior going rate of $100M per four years. Omega's prior contract, signed in '09, had been due to expire in '20. "This is consistent with our pricing policy,” said IOC Managing Dir of TV & Marketing Services Timo Lumme. The deal was negotiated directly by Swatch Group and the IOC. Lumme added he expects Omega to sign an additional deal to become a founding partner of the startup Olympic Channel, joining Toyota, Bridgestone and Alibaba Group as backers of the IOC's OTT platform. NBC and the USOC will launch a linear Olympic Channel later this year in the U.S. Omega has been the official timekeeper of 27 Olympic Games in a relationship that dates to 1932, and has enjoyed worldwide category exclusivity since '02. It is one of the few Olympic brands, along with Panasonic and certain equipment and apparel manufacturers, to be allowed to show its branding at Olympic competition venues. Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek: "We are happy and proud to continue this tradition until 2032, which will mark one hundred years of partnership between Omega and the Olympics.”

INSURANCE PLAN: Omega is the latest in a series of especially long-term deals for the IOC, which is more than ever before seeking to ensure against rapid changes by locking in revenue for multiple cycles. NBC Sports and Brazil's TV Globo are the only other Olympic partners to sign through '32. Today's news leaves eight other TOP sponsors in their final quadrennial: Atos, Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Samsung and Visa. Omega and the IOC have been negotiating since late '14, Lumme said, carefully working through the vast tech changes likely to come to both timing and timekeeping and the business of the Olympics themselves. The parties also redrew their original agreement from scratch, combining prior contracts that dealt with the provision of timekeeping services and the marketing rights and subsequent amendments into a single, new document. “We also have to take into account that we don’t necessarily know the nature of their business and the type of services we’ll need, for example, in 2028,” Lumme said. “The world is changing rapidly. There was a long lead time to discuss and finalize the deal." Omega declined to say whether it used any third party advisors.
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