Coca-Cola, Nissan and Bradesco will be the presenting partners for the Rio Olympic Torch Relay, it was announced today, with the Torch to embark on a 12,000 kilometres journey beginning in May 2016.
The precise route has not yet been announced but the Relay will visit all 26 states in the host nation, as well as 250 cities and towns, therefore encompassing 90 per cent of the population.
"Upon being awarded the right to host the 2016 Olympic Games, we promised to involve the entire country, thereby ensuring it would be an event made by Brazilians, for Brazilians and with a Brazilian spirit for the world to enjoy," said Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman.
"To stage the Olympic Torch Relay across the whole country is to fulfil that promise and give millions the chance to participate in an unforgettable celebration."
As tradition dictates, the journey will begin in Greece in Olympia, home of the Ancient Olympic Games, when the Flame will be lit in traditional fashion, although insidethegames understands it will then travel straight to Brazil rather than visit other countries first.
The Flame is expected to arrive in the host nation between 90 and 100 days before the start of the Games, with the Relay due to conclude with the lighting of the Cauldron at the Maracanã Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the Games on August 5.
A process to select Torchbearers will take place in 2015, it was announced, and will be conducted in collaboration with the three presenting partners.
Coca-Cola will continue a longstanding connection with Torch Relays, with the soft drink giants involved in it since 1992, while car manufacturer Nissan and Brazilian bank Bradesco will be fellow partners.
Both are domestic Rio 2016 partners.
The presenting partnerships, described as the single most sought after commercial opportunity of the Games, are reportedly each worth around 500 million (£129 million/$191 million/€170 million).
"We are writing yet another chapter in the history of our partnership with the Olympic Torch Relay," said Flavio Camelier, vice-president of Coca-Cola Brazil for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
"Since the Barcelona Olympic Games, in 1992, we believe in its power to thrill, to provide unique moments and to spread the Olympic spirit throughout the whole world."
Nissan of Brazil President François Dossa explained how, through the sponsorship, the company is aiming to become even more integrated into Brazilian life and to bring one of the greatest moments of the Olympic Games to the entire nation, while similar sentiments were expressed by Bradesco marketing director Jorge Nasser.
"We believe that the Olympic Torch Relay is Brazil's window to the world, an event in which we will be able to show the Brazilian people in their entirety, our natural beauty, our diverse traditions, our varied culture," he said.
"In a nutshell, the human warmth of our people, who embrace the whole world with open arms."
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