Eli Lilly and Company have signed an agreement with USOPC and NBCUniversal ©Eli Lilly and Company

Eli Lilly and Company has signed a one-year agreement to support United States’ Olympic and Paralympic teams for Tokyo 2020.

The global biopharmaceutical company has been confirmed as an official partner of both teams.

The agreement has been hailed as a first, with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and NBCUniversal having partnered to secure sponsorship and media commitments.

“We are thrilled to welcome Eli Lilly and Company to the Team USA family of partners,” said Bahati VanPelt, USOPC chief of athlete services.

“With the Games drawing near, this demonstration of support for America’s elite Olympic and Paralympic athletes is incredibly important, and we look forward to celebrating this innovative partnership on the road to Tokyo.”

As part of the agreement, Lilly will design a campaign in support of the Olympic and Paralympic teams.

The campaign will be showcased on NBCUniversal, the official Olympic and Paralympic Games partner in the US through to the end of 2032.

“It was a pleasure working in coordination with the USOPC to bring a fantastic new partner in Lilly to our mutual business,” said Dan Lovinger, executive vice-president of sales at NBC Sports Group.

“Through this partnership, Lilly will have the opportunity to reach millions of Americans through an abundance of consumer touchpoints, all while supporting the athletes of Team USA.”

Lilly says it plans to work with several Olympic and Paralympic athletes to raise awareness of important health conditions.

This will include diabetes, cancer, migraine, and psoriasis.

The athletes will serve as brand ambassadors for Lilly, which says it aims to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, as well as improving the understanding and management of disease.

Eli Lilly and Company will support the US Olympic and Paralympic teams at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
Eli Lilly and Company will support the US Olympic and Paralympic teams at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

The company claims partnering with the USOPC and NBCUniversal will allow it to reach more American consumers with information regarding the company’s portfolio of medicines.

“Lilly is proud to serve as an Official Partner of Team USA and the 2020 US Olympic and Paralympic Teams,” said Patrik Jonsson, Lilly senior vice-president and President of Lilly Bio-Medicines.

“The Olympic and Paralympic Games are a unique opportunity for Lilly to connect with Americans that may benefit from our medicines.

“And as a global healthcare leader, we can think of no better example of health and wellness than these elite athletes. 

"We look forward to supporting their journey to Tokyo.”

The agreement could act as a prelude to a partnership between NBCUniversal and Los Angeles 2028, which was announced last April.

The partnership is designed to see the broadcaster collaborate on media and sponsorship opportunities.

Companies will have opportunities to associate their brand with the US Olympic team and their participation in four Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This would include Beijing 2022, Paris 2024 and the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. 

The deal will conclude at Los Angeles 2028.