Intel have been confirmed as a Worldwide Partner of the IOC ©Intel

Intel have officially been announced as a member of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) top-tier sponsorship scheme until 2024.

It will see the technology giants join the IOC's TOP (The Olympic Partner) Programme.

The agreement, widely speculated, was confirmed at a press conference in New York City attended by IOC President Thomas Bach and Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich.

Membership of the TOP Programme costs approximately $200 million (£156 million/€179 million) for a four-year cycle.

The IOC already has numerous other technology partners, including Samsung, Panasonic and Alibaba.

Chinese company Alibaba was announced as a member of the TOP programme in January.

"As a result of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC is forging ground-breaking partnerships," said Bach.

"Intel is a world-leader in its field and we're very excited to be working with the Intel team to drive the future of the Olympic Games through cutting-edge technology.

"The Olympic Games provide a connection between fans and athletes that has inspired people around the world through sport and the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. 

"Thanks to our new innovative global partnership with Intel, fans in the stadium, athletes and audiences around the world will soon experience the magic of the Olympic Games in completely new ways."

The partnership will see Intel work across the Olympic Movement and with other Olympic partners to integrate technology into many areas of the Olympic Games, according to the IOC.

They will focus primarily on using 5G, virtual reality 3D and 360 degree content development platforms.

Artificial intelligence and drones will also be used to "enhance" the Olympics.

Intel technology will provide real-time virtual reality viewing at Pyeongchang 2018 in February, with the next Winter Olympics the first major event of their partnership.

The company will also provide technological and content support for Olympic Broadcasting Services' host broadcaster operations, as well as for the Olympic Channel.

It is claimed 5G platforms will be used at the Olympic Games to demonstrate how it can "transform communications" over the next decade, with Pyeongchang 2018 due to be the first showcase.

According to the IOC, Intel 360 replay technology will allow fans to experience the "most memorable Olympic moments from every angle at the Olympic venues".

"We are excited to join the Olympic Movement and integrate Intel's innovative technologies to advance the Olympics Games experience for fans around the world,"said Krzanich. 

"Through this close collaboration with the Olympic family, we will accelerate the adoption of technology for the future of sports on the world's largest athletic stage."

IOC President Thomas Bach invited Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich to be a Pyeongchang 2018 Torchbearer ©Intel
IOC President Thomas Bach invited Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich to be a Pyeongchang 2018 Torchbearer ©Intel

Krzanich was invited by Bach to attend the lighting of the Pyeongchang 2018 Torch in Ancient Olympia in October, while he also offered him the chance to become a Torchbearer.

The IOC President presented Krzanich with a replica of the Pyeongchang 2018 Torch.

Intel's deal with the IOC comes less than a week after the end of the TOP programme deal with fast food giant McDonald's.

McDonald's had extended its sponsorship with the IOC in 2012 for a further eight years in a deal worth $100 million (£78 million/€89 million).

Although this will not be seen through, they will continue to sponsor Pyeongchang 2018 with domestic marketing rights in South Korea only.

The company will also deliver its Games-time operations, including restaurants at the Olympic Park and the Athletes' Village.

Intel's addition takes the number of Olympic TOP sponsors back up to 13.

They join, Dow, Panasonic, P&G, Coca Cola, Samsung, Atos, General Electronic, Visa, Omega, Toyota, Alibaba and Bridgestone.