Toyota said Friday it had joined a small group of big-ticket Olympic sponsors for the next decade, as the Japanese company strives to expand its global marketing reach, and ahead of the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

The world’s biggest automaker said it became the first entrant from its industry to take part in “The Olympic Partner” (TOP) programme.

The deal, which will last through 2024, makes Toyota the 12th member of the TOP programme, joining global corporate titans likes of Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Visa.

Two other Japanese firms — Panasonic and Bridgestone — are also Olympic partners. 

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Toyota President Akio Toyoda made the announcement at a ceremony in future host city Tokyo.

“We will do everything possible to fulfil our new role in The Olympic Partner programme, and justify the trust the IOC has placed in us,” Toyoda said in a statement.

“The addition of a mobility category to the TOP Partner field is an important recognition for our entire industry.”

The IOC’s Bach also welcomed Toyota as a new key partner. 

“Toyota is the world leader in its field, and this partnership signifies a strong commitment to the future of the IOC and the Olympic Movement,” he said. 

Toyota did not disclose the financial value of the sponsorship deal.

The announcement comes as Japanese officials scramble to prepare for the Tokyo Games.

Toyota, among other major Japanese firms from various sectors, have said the global sporting event will serve as a premium platform to showcase their products and brands.

Toyota has been rushing to show off its technology in the 2020 Games, particularly eco-friendly vehicles such as fuel cell cars, powered by hydrogen and emitting nothing but water vapour.

Major brewer Asahi, telecoms giant NTT Docomo, and high-tech firms Canon, Fujitsu and NEC have been chosen as the prestigious “Gold Sponsor” firms for the Tokyo Olympic Games. – Agence France-Presse

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