March 13, 2015 / 12:53 PM / 2 years ago

Toyota signs up as Olympic Games sponsor: IOC

A flaming phoenix flies above the Olympic flame during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 12, 2012.Luke Macgregor

BERLIN (Reuters) - Japan's Toyota Motor Corporation has joined the group of leading sponsors of the Olympic Games in an agreement that runs until 2024, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday.

The car maker becomes the first company of its kind to join 11 other global brands on the IOC's top sponsorship program (TOP) in a deal reported to be just under $1 billion.

Toyota, the world's biggest car manufacturer by volume, is also the third Japanese company to join TOP, after Panasonic and Bridgestone as the Olympics prepare to go to Tokyo in 2024.

Both have also signed up to 2024.

"Toyota is the world leader in its field and this partnership signifies a strong commitment to the future of the IOC and the Olympic movement," IOC President Thomas Bach said in the Japanese capital.

The contract will officially run from 2017 to 2024 but Toyota, the third sponsor to commit to 2024, has marketing rights in Japan with immediate effect.

"Long-term partnerships are the backbone of our commercial programs and they enable the financial security of the entire Olympic movement," IOC marketing chief Tsunekazu Takeda, who is also Vice-President of the Tokyo 2020 Games, said.

Although it does not reveal contract details of its sponsorship agreements, the deals with its top sponsors generate more than $100 million per quadrennium.

"We will do everything possible to fulfill our new role in The Olympic Partner Programme and to justify the trust that the IOC has placed in us," said Toyota President Akio Toyoda.

"The addition of the mobility category to The Olympic Partner Programme is important recognition for our entire industry."

Other major sponsors, including McDonald's, Samsung, Coca-Cola and Atos, have signed up until 2020 or beyond.

Reporting by Keith Weir, Writing by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond

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