By Duncan Mackay

BP_USOC_sponsorship_launchSeptember 26 - BP has extended its sponsorship of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) through until the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, they have announced.

The deal also includes supporting the United States teams competing in the 2011 Pan American and Parapan Games in Guadalajara and Toronto.

BP, who are also a Tier One London 2012 sponsor, originally signed a $15 million (£9.5 million/€11 million) deal with the USOC during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The USOC had stood by BP last year·following·the heavy·criticism of BP·by President Barack·Obama after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and have now been rewarded for their loyalty with a deal that also includes the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi.

"Team USA is an inspiration to us all, and its tradition of competition, courage and sportsmanship to reach extraordinary achievements represents the best of American values to the world," said Luc Bardin, BP chief marketing officer.

"Our continued partnership will support and help showcase Team USA, and we wish all US Olympic and Paralympic athletes well in the coming competitions."

Earlier this month, BP became the presenting partner of the USOC's Jack Kelly Fair Play Award, which was presented last Friday (September 23) to teenage cross country Jenna Huff , at the US Olympic and Paralympic Assembly in Colorado Springs.

The award was established by the USOC in 1985 to honour the late USOC President and Olympic medalist Jack Kelly, a triple Olympic rowing gold medallist but who was better known as the father of actress Grace Kelly.

"BP's support of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements directly impacts America's athletes as they train hard each and every day to compete at their best," USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said.

"Their support is critical, as is their drive to fund and promote a wide variety of USOC programmes, which help create additional exposure and resources for our athletes.

"We thank BP for its commitment to Team USA."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
June 2010: USOC pledge to stand by BP sponsorship
February 2010: London Tier One sponsor to be major backer of USOC