Intel To Announce Global Sponsorship Deal With The IOC, Sources Say
Intel is close to announcing a nine-figure global sponsorship deal with the International Olympic Committee, according to multiple sources familiar with the parties’ plans. The deal is the tech giant’s most ambitious step yet in its 2-year-old strategy of using sports to market the user experience it powers instead of the microprocessors it sells. Terms are not yet known, but membership in the IOC’s TOP (The Olympic Partner) program sells for roughly $200 million for a four-year cycle. It includes worldwide rights to use the Olympic rings, sponsorships of national Olympic teams, and extensive hospitality and activation assets at the Games themselves.
Intel’s exact category definition is unclear, and one source said that question has been at the forefront of negotiations for nearly a year. Drones and virtual reality were two possible components of a deal, sources said. It’s a crowded space -- the IOC already has several other technology partners, including Samsung (wireless communication equipment and computing equipment), Panasonic (audiovisual equipment), and Alibaba Group (cloud computing.) Also, organizers of the upcoming Olympics in South Korea and Japan have signed their own tech partners to domestic deals.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has been a personal driver of this deal and has insisted that it start in 2018, a source said, seeing the PyeongChang Games as an inflection point for technology and sports because of Korean telecom provider KT’s plans to showcase 5G technology there. Intel today announced a press conference in New York for next Wednesday. It did not disclose the topic, but included the Olympic rings in its note. Intel did not respond to questions and the IOC declined comment.