By Duncan Mackay at the Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre in Sochi

Panasonic has extended its sponsorship of the IOC until 2024 ©PanasonicFebruary 6 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has extended its sponsorship deal with Panasonic for another eight years to 2024, making it the first sponsor to do so, it was announced here today. 

The Japanese electronics company's current deal as partner in the exclusive audiovisual product category with the IOC goes until 2016 and the Rio de Janeiro summer Olympics.

"We are thrilled to be able to announce that we will continue to work with our long-term partner Panasonic," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement.

Panasonic has been one of the IOC's elite sponsors since 1985, signing up to The Olympic Programme (TOP), which currently comprises just 10 major companies.

Although the IOC does not reveal the financial terms of its TOP deals, the total sponsorship package for the 2013-2016 period is estimated to generate about $1 billion (£613 million/€739 million) in revenue, up from $663 million (£406 million/€490 million) a decade ago.

"Panasonic was one of the founding members of our global sponsorship programme, and is the first partner to commit to continue its global sponsorship through 2024," Bach said.

"This is a clear demonstration of Panasonic's continuing belief in the Olympic values and the company's global commitment to the Olympic Movement."

The contract extension includes two upcoming Olympics in Asia, Pyeongchang 2018 and Tokyo 2020.

Panasonic have been sponsoring the Olympic Games since 1985, including at Barcelona 1992 ©Getty ImagesPanasonic have been sponsoring the Olympic Games since 1985, including at Barcelona 1992 ©Getty Images

"Panasonic has contributed to the Olympic Movement for over 25 years," said Kazuhiro Tsuga, President of Panasonic, at the signing ceremony.

"Today, we are proud to announce our commitment to support the Olympic Movement for a further eight years through to 2024.

"Through our cutting-edge technologies and products, our staff and operations services, we will continue to support the Olympic Games, the greatest sporting event in the world."

As part of the agreement Panasonic will also continue to support the IOC, the Youth Olympic Games Organising Committees and every National Olympic Committee and their team.

"I am proud that we are continuing our partnership with Panasonic," said Gerhard Heiberg, chairman of the IOC Marketing Commission.

"This is a clear sign of the strength of the Olympic brand and its appeal to the business community - from whom we receive not only critical funding, but also support in terms of products and technological expertise that support the staging the Olympic Games.

"By reaching long-term agreements, we are able to better support all the constituents of the Olympic Movement including the National Olympic Committees, and ultimately the athletes themselves.

"As a Japanese company with a long, global Olympic experience I'm sure it will be of great assistance, in particular for the organisation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."

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