Toyota has joined The Olympic Partner (TOP) Programme in the newly-created mobility category, it was announced today.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and Toyota chief Akio Toyoda confirmed in Tokyo that the two parties had reached an agreement through to 2024, which will see the Japanese car manufacturer work with the organisers of future Olympic Games to provide safe, efficient and sustainable mobility solutions.
Toyota are the third Japanese company to join the programme after Panasonic and Bridgestone, the tyremaker.
It marks a significant change for the car category, which has traditionally been a national deal with the relevant Organising Committee.
Rio 2016 counts another Japanese carmaker Nissan among its roster of Official Sponsors, meaning Toyota will not join the TOP Programme in 2017, but will have marketing rights in Japan with immediate effect.
BMW and the Volkswagen Group filled the role at London 2012 and Sochi 2014 respectively.
The new agreement covers all relevant Toyota brands within the category, including Toyota, Lexus and Scion.
The partnership will help deliver a mobility legacy in the host cities and countries through intelligent transport systems, urban traffic systems and vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems, it is claimed.
"This is a very symbolic day," said Bach.
"It is the first time in the successful history of the TOP programme that we have had a mobility category.
"It is in the spirit of the Olympic Agenda 2020 not just in terms of innovation but also in terms of sustainability in mobility.
"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.
"Toyota and the IOC share the same values and we welcome Toyota Motor Corporation to the Olympic family."
Toyota will also support the entire Olympic Movement through funding and a global promotional reach, and bring significant expertise to Tokyo 2020, led by President Yoshirō Mori, it is claimed.
"This agreement is a powerful indication of the strength of the Olympic brand globally and the appeal of an association with the Olympic Movement," said Tsunekazu Takeda, chairman of the IOC's Marketing Commission chairman.
Takeda, who is also President of the Japanese Olympic Committee and vice-president of Tokyo 2020, added: "Long-term partnerships are the backbone of our commercial programmes and they enable the financial security of the entire Olympic Movement.
"Toyota will become our 12th TOP Partner and the third company to have already committed through to 2024."
Toyota is the 12th largest company in the world measured by revenue and the biggest in Japan.
It has previously been involved in sponsorship of football and athletics, including this year's Asian Cup in Australia and is one of the biggest supporters of the International Association of Athletics Federations.
"We will do everything possible to fulfil our new role in The Olympic Partner Programme and to justify the trust that the IOC has placed in us," said Toyoda.
"The addition of the mobility category to The Olympic Partner Programme is important recognition for our entire industry.
"Under this Olympic flag, let us today reaffirm the power of sport to bring people together.
"Let us dedicate ourselves to creating a better world by promoting sport in the Olympic spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play."
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March 2015: Toyota to sign up as Olympic TOP sponsor, says report
February 2015: Alex Kelham: Agenda 2020 behind the headlines
February 2015: Exclusive: IOC targets $2 billion from TOP programme by 2024
September 2013: Exclusive: TOP programme breaks the $1 billion barrier