By Mike Rowbottom

vtb bank_12-03-12March 12 - VTB bank, which in 2006 became the first Russian company to sign as a partner with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), has extended its worldwide partnership for four more years, taking in the 2013 IAAF World Championships which will be held in Moscow.

The original five year deal – from 2007 to 2011 – marked a significant step in the global diversification of the IAAF's sponsor portfolio.

The new four year contract – from 2012 through 2015 – covers the key World Athletics Series events including the next two editions of the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in 2013 and Beijing in 2015, as well as the IAAF World Indoor Championships this year, which concluded this weekend in Istanbul, and in 2014.

For the first time VTB also joins the growing IAAF Continental/National Sponsorship Programme which was created to financially support the IAAF Family through sponsorships.

VTB's support of this programme will include Area Association Championships and one day meetings in selected locations.

"The extension to the VTB partnership is a further endorsement that the IAAF and the sport of athletics remain extremely attractive to major corporations," IAAF President Lamine Diack said.

"It is extremely encouraging to find that 18 months ahead of the next IAAF World Championships, Moscow 2013, that the pinnacle event of our competition programme can already boast six Official International Partners: adidas, Seiko, Sinopec, TDK, Toyota, VTB, and an Official Supplier Mondo."

As for the previous term, this extension has been brokered by Dentsu, the IAAF's worldwide exclusive marketing partner.

VTB is the second biggest domestic Russian bank providing a large range of banking products and services.

The leading international financial group of Russian origin, VTB has ambitious global expansion plans and is currently present in 19 markets across the Commonwealth of Independent States, Western Europe, Africa and Asia.

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