January 8 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have today announced a new agreement with Audi that will see the German automobile manufacturer become their official vehicle supplier until the end of 2016.
The deal will see Audi, whose four ring symbol is remarkably similar to the Olympic five rings, equip the IOC's fleet in Lausanne and also provide a range of vehicles at various international events.
Such events include the prestigious 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires in September when the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic host city will be announced and a new IOC President elected.
The agreement also includes plans to jointly develop environmental, humanitarian and social projects.
"The IOC is delighted to have Audi, a world renowned company, as its official automobile supplier," said IOC director general Christophe De Kepper.
"We look forward to developing further social responsibility initiatives with them in the near future as part of this agreement."
Under the terms of the agreement, both the IOC headquarters and the Olympic Museum in Lausanne will be outfitted with more than 40 Audis, including the Audi Q5 hybrid and Audi A8 hybrid.
The agreement, though, does not directly include the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics or the Rio 2016 Summer Games, as they have their own deals.
The Volkswagen Group, which Audi is actually part of, is the automotive provider for Sochi 2014 while Nissan will carry out the role for Rio 2016.
The deal for an automotive provider at each Olympics and Paralympics is done directly with the individual Organising Committee as the IOC does not currently have an automotive Worldwide Olympic Partner category, which would offer exclusive rights to the Games.
Nevertheless, becoming the IOC vehicle supplier is undoubtedly a huge coup for Audi.
"Through our cooperation with the IOC as the top-level global sports organisation, we aim to link our brand even more closely with international sport," said Luca de Meo, a senior member of the Audi Board of management for marketing and sales.
"We're going to shape many exciting joint projects in the future."
The deal increases Audi's connection with the Olympic Movement as they are also partners of the National Olympic Committees of Finland, Germany, Russia and Switzerland.
Aside from the IOC, Audi's partners include the International Ski Federation (FIS) and 15 alpine national teams.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]