Olympic marketing

  • How are the Olympic marketing revenues distributed?
    • The IOC is a non-profit organisation and gives more than 90% of the marketing revenue to the organisations belonging to the Olympic Movement, to support the organisation of the Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games and promote sport around the world. It supports them through the provision of products, services, technology, expertise and staff deployment or via the funding of facilities to support athletes, including sports facilities, athlete accommodation, food and health services.

      The IOC also aims to make success at the Games achievable by everyone, and so, every Olympic cycle, a substantial portion of the profits from the Games is allocated through the National Olympic Committees directly to helping athletes and coaches from countries with the greatest financial need, as part of the Olympic Solidarity programme.

      Beyond the Games, the IOC’s funds are also used to finance the network of athletes’ commissions across the globe which promotes the empowerment of athletes and enables their voices to be heard. For instance, substantial investment is made in the anti-doping ecosystem, with 50 per cent of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s funding coming directly from the IOC.

      The IOC retains only 10% of Olympic revenue for IOC activities to develop sport and cover the operational costs of governing the Olympic Movement. 

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  • Where does the Olympic Movement’s revenue come from?
    • All the IOC and Olympic Movement organisations’ revenues come from private sources.

      The Olympic Movement’s revenue comes from various programmes, such as the sale of broadcast rights (TV, radio and new media), international and national sponsorship and the sale of tickets and licensed products.

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  • What is the TOP programme?
    • The abbreviation “TOP” stands for “The Olympic Partner" programme. This is a global sponsorship programme managed by the IOC. Created in 1985, its aim is to generate diversified revenue to be shared in equal measure between the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) and the Olympic Movement. The TOP programme is established for a duration of four years minimum, corresponding to the Olympic quadrennial period.

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  • How to become a sponsor or a partner for the Olympic Games?
    • The Olympic Games are one of the most effective international marketing platforms in the world, reaching billions of people in over 200 countries and territories throughout the world.

      There are different levels of marketing and licensing programmes linked to the Olympic Games at the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Organising Committees of the Olympic Games (OCOG) and the National Olympic Committees (NOCs).

      Under the direction of the IOC, "The Olympic Partner" (TOP) programme is a global sponsorship programme created in 1985, whose aim is to generate diversified revenue to be shared in equal measure between the OCOGs and the Olympic Movement.

      The Organising Committees (OCOGs) manage their own commercial programmes to support the staging of the Games. Contracts are negotiated directly by the OCOG and are generally limited to the Olympic quadrennial period.

      National Olympic Committees (NOCs) manage local sponsorship programmes in non-competing categories to the TOP sponsors that support their sports development activities and Olympic teams. These sponsorship programmes grant Olympic marketing rights within the NOC country or territory only.

      For more information on the latter two, please refer to the local sponsorship programmes section. For more precise information on local sponsorship opportunities for the upcoming Games, please contact the relevant NOC or OCOG.

  • What are the objectives of Olympic marketing?
    • The objectives of the Olympic marketing programmes are:

      • To generate revenue to be distributed throughout the entire Olympic Movement – including the OCOGs, the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and their continental associations, the International Federations (IFs) and other recognised international sports organisations – and to provide financial support for sport in emerging nations.
      • To build on the successful activities developed by each Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG) and thereby eliminate the need to recreate the marketing structure with each Olympic Games.
      • To ensure that the Olympic Games can be experienced by the maximum number of people throughout the world principally via broadcast coverage.
      • To protect and promote the equity that is inherent in the Olympic image and ideals.
      • To control and limit the commercialisation of the Olympic Games.
      • To create and maintain long-term marketing programmes.
      • To enlist the support of Olympic marketing partners in the promotion of the Olympic ideals.

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  • What is the IOC’s policy on broadcasting the Olympic Games?
    • The IOC’s broadcasting policy is based on the Olympic Charter: “The IOC takes all necessary steps in order to ensure the fullest coverage by the different media and the widest possible audience in the world for the Olympic Games.”

      The IOC owns all the global broadcast rights to the Olympic Games, including via television, radio, mobile phones and internet platforms. It is responsible for awarding these rights to broadcasters around the world, to ensure the widest possible coverage of the Games.

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  • How are the Olympic Games financed?
    • The budget for the Olympic Games has naturally evolved over time and varies for each edition depending on the current context of the host city. However, the basic principles of financing the Games remain broadly the same and can be broken down into two distinct budgets:

      The Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG) Budget

      The IOC gives no money to governments, but exclusively to the Organising Committees for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and assists the Organising Committees in many other ways, including through transfer of knowledge and management of the host broadcasting operations.

      This is mainly privately financed with a large contribution from the IOC that comes from its different revenue sources, including The Olympic Partner (TOP) programme and the sale of broadcast rights for the Olympic Games.

      The IOC contributes a large part of the finances needed to stage an Olympic Games.

      - Tokyo 2020 – USD 1.7 billion

      - Beijing 2022 – USD 880 million

      - Paris 2024 – USD 1.7 billion

      - Milano Cortina 2026 – USD 925 million

      - Los Angeles 2028 – USD 1.8 billion

      The IOC also provides the possibility to the Games organisers to commercialise the Olympic rights in their territory as well as to manage the ticketing of the event. Another revenue source for the local organisers is a national partnership programme.

      As part of its contribution, the IOC pays for the host broadcast operation, Olympic Broadcast Services (OBS), and provides various forms of Games support to the OCOG including through its “Transfer of Knowledge” programmes.

      The most recent editions of the Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games have all either broken even or made a profit.


      The Non-OCOG Budget:

      This budget is generally under the control of the local authorities and comprises several elements:

      Capital Investment budget (Competition and Non-Competition venues) - This is directly related to the construction of the permanent competition and non-competition venues which must have a long term legacy. The financing of such investments are usually undertaken by the public authorities and/or the private sector.

      Operations budget - This includes the operational services of public authorities in support of the Games (such as security, transport, medical services, customs and immigration, etc.).

      In addition, each city/region/country has a long-term investment plan for general infrastructure which deals with wider infrastructure investments that the host country and city are making independently of the Games, such as investments in roads, airports and rail ways. How this is funded and the scope of this investment plan very much depend on what already exists in the city and the long term development vision of the city and country.

      As per the Olympic Host Contract, the IOC requires that all Organising Committees provide annual financial statements certified by an independent certified public accountant.

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