The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that top-tier Olympic Games partners will receive automatic global rights to the Paralympic Games from 2021.
The change to the current system, which was published as part of the IOC’s new host city contract for 2026, puts an end to separate rights negotiations with the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Currently, five of the 13 The Olympic Partner (TOP) sponsors, Atos, Panasonic, Samsung, Toyota and Visa, also serve as worldwide Paralympic partners, together with Allianz and BP, which have IPC-only deals.
The other TOP sponsors, Coca-Cola, Alibaba, Bridgestone, Dow, GE, Intel, Omega and P&, do not currently sponsor the Paralympic Games.
Seven current TOP sponsor deals - GE, Atos, Coca-Cola, Dow, P&G, Samsung and Visa – are due to expire at the end of 2020.
From 2021, a new marketing plan will see the IOC combine and jointly manage international rights to both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
As part of the new process, the IPC will reportedly retain the option to sign Paralympic-specific partners in non-competitive categories. The global para-sport governing body is also expected to receive a significant increase in its IOC funding under the new deal.
In 2010, Sainsbury’s became the first brand to partner solely with the Paralympic Games when it joined London 2012’s domestic commercial programme.
BP also recently made headlines when it switched from its sponsorship of the United States Olympic Committee to Paralympic sport, agreeing in 2017 to back six US Paralympic teams.
IPC president Andrew Parsons told Inside The Games that the deal makes sense for the IPC, IOC and sponsors, and would provide a healthy boost in revenue for the IPC. "It makes more sense for the IOC, for us and for the sponsors, who will get the Paralympics as part of the package. It is a one-selling process instead of having two in different moments.
"It brings more insurance and stability for us and for the IOC and we think we can generate more revenue with that."