The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) is set to receive at least TTD$750,000 (£76,000/$118,000/€107,000) into its #10golds24 athlete welfare and preparation fund from Toyota Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TTTL) over the next five years.
The deal, due to run until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, was announced by TTOC President Brian Lewis and TTTL marketing manager Sean Shaffie at Olympic House as Toyota presented the first cheque of TTD$150,000 (£15,000/$24,000/€21,000) to the fund.
In March, Toyota joined The Olympic Partner (TOP) Programme in the newly-created mobility category, which will see the Japanese car manufacturer work with the organisers of future Olympic Games to provide safe, efficient and sustainable mobility solutions.
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.
Lewis claimed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) usually returns 90 per cent of the revenue generated back to sport development and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) across the globe.
"What would usually happen is even though you may have a worldwide partner, it doesn’t necessarily mean in the domestic market there is a sign-on market," he said.
"It usually happens in bigger NOCs, not usually in smaller NOCs, so Toyota T&T signing on to be a partner complements, so to speak, what is happening on worldwide basis but is a landmark deal for the TTOC and we would like to congratulate and welcome them on board."
Shaffie insisted TTTL was forward-thinking and therefore decided to offer Olympic support 12 months ahead of its parent company.
"We will be supporting our local Olympic contingent via the TTOC in readiness for the Olympic Games in 2020, not only because our parent company is an official Olympic sponsor, but it is part of our burning desire to coordinate and contribute to Olympic success for our very own athletes," he said.
Toyota has also agreed to provide internships for athletes in human resources, public relations, communications and sales.
Ongoing training and education will also be offered by Toyota, which will be the official vehicle and mobility partner of the TTOC.
"To be fair to our other corporate sponsors, there is an ongoing emphasis in all our negotiations now in terms of actioning our athlete-centred approach from a strategic perspective," said Lewis.
"That component is very important and I acknowledge Toyota for agreeing to that."
Lewis stressed the importance of making sure that Trinidad and Tobago's Federations improve their brand to attract commercial investment.
"It is also about the ability of the brand you are associating with to drive sales," he added.
"I am saying this because we hear a lot about why corporate T&T is not coming on board.
"Maybe it is because the brand needs to be looked at, maybe we are unable to convince corporate T&T that we can help create a win-win, not only help them meet their corporate social responsibility ambitions but to drive sales."
Trinidad and Tobago won a total of eight medals at the recent Pam American Games in Toronto, including three golds in athletics.
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