Bridgestone set to become top tier IOC sponsor

May 28, 2014
Bridgestone set to become top tier IOC sponsor

The volunteers form the words “Tokyo 2020" to promote the 2020 Olympic Games which will be hosted in Tokyo during an event at the National Stadium in Tokyo, Sunday, May 25, 2014. Tokyo's National Stadium, the centerpiece of the 1964 Summer Olympics, hosted its final sporting event on Sunday before it will be demolished to make way for a new 80,000-seat structure that will be the main venue of the 2020 Olympics. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese tire manufacturer Bridgestone Corp. is reportedly set to become a top-tier sponsor of the International Olympic Committee in a 10-year deal that will cover the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The Asahi Shimbun newspaper says Bridgestone will pay $344 million to become a worldwide sponsor under the IOC's global commercial program, known as TOP.

The deal will run from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and cover the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the 2020 Tokyo Games and the 2022 Winter Games and 2024 Summer Games.

The paper says Bridgestone is expected to sign the formal contract next month during a visit by IOC President Thomas Bach to Japan.

The IOC says "we are in discussions with a number of companies about joining the TOP program but will only comment if and when an agreement is finalized and announced."

Another Japanese company, Panasonic, extended its Olympic sponsorship in February through 2024.

Japanese IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda was appointed by Bach last month as chairman of the IOC marketing commission.