Published September 10, 2013
Heiberg said Brazil's economy had slowed sponsorship sales for the '16 Rio Games.
The IOC is in the middle of a review of its worldwide sponsorship program, known as TOP. During a presentation at the 125th IOC session in Buenos Aires, IOC Marketing Commission Chair Gerhard Heiberg said the organization has signed seven of its current sponsors through '20, allowing it to make changes to the program if it wishes after that year. "It's a moment for reflection and making sure we are best prepared for the future," Heiberg said. "We are looking at our commercial programs beyond 2020 in terms of our shareholders' needs and the wider geo-political ... and technological context." It is the third review of TOP since the program was created in '85. Heiberg did not provide any details for how the program might change. He only said the review will continue this year following the selection of a new IOC president Tuesday. One thing that will not change is the number of partners in the TOP program. Heiberg expects the IOC to continue to cap the number of sponsors at 10 or 12 so that enough categories remain for the Olympic organizing committees and national Olympic committees to sell. "Ten to 12 is still the right number of TOP sponsors," Heiberg said. "We need to share between Olympic parties." In addition to speaking about the future of TOP, Heiberg gave an overview of the sponsorship sales for the 2012 London, 2014 Sochi and 2016 Rio Games. London sold an Olympic record $1.1B in sponsorship and Sochi has generated $1B from 37 companies. Heiberg said Rio got off to a strong start but was facing a tough Brazilian economy that had slowed its sponsorship sales. "The program looks very different than when it was launched," said Heiberg, who did not provide financial details of what Rio has sold to date. "Discussions with a number of interested sponsors are ongoing."
Tripp Mickle is on the ground in Buenos Aires reporting and tweeting from the IOC meetings. Look for continued posts from him on our On The Ground blog.