The IOC has announced today that Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co. Ltd (MEI) has renewed its worldwide Olympic sponsorship continuing through to the XX Olympic Winter Games in Turin in 2006 and the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing in 2008.
The global agreement with the Olympic Movement, which includes sponsorship of the 199 National Olympic Committees, positions Matsushita as Worldwide Official Partner in the category of Audio, TV and Video Equipment and Recording Media relating to Audio and Moving Images, including Broadcast and Professional Use.
Participating in the sixth generation of The Olympic Partner (TOP) programme, Matsushita is the sixth partner to renew its Olympic agreement for the next Olympic marketing quadrennium. The corporation joins global Olympic partners Coca-Cola, Kodak, John Hancock, SchlumbergerSema and Swatch.
For the TOP VI programme, Matsushita's category has been extended to include Car Navigation Systems and related multi-media equipment. The Turin 2006 and Beijing 2008 Organising Committees will also benefit from Matsushita's provision of Audio-Visual Security Systems and Security Card Readers.
'As a member of the TOP programme since its inception in 1988, Matsushita has a strong tradition of supporting the Olympic Movement,' said IOC President Dr Jacques Rogge.
'We are proud to have Matsushita as a worldwide partner, and delighted that the success of this partnership sees the renewal of the agreement and the provision of even greater support for the Olympic Games. As we lead up to the Turin 2006 and Beijing 2008 Games, we are extremely encouraged to see the ongoing commitment from our partners. The renewal process for TOP VI is well advanced, and the timing of this ensures greater benefits for the Olympic Movement and for the Partners.'
Matsushita will continue to provide vital products, services and expertise in all areas relevant to its category. Under the Panasonic brand, the corporation will contribute leading-edge technology products which enhance the presentation of the Games through the use of large screens in venues and at Olympic live sites for spectators, or the provision of professional technical equipment for broadcasters.
'Matsushita has strong Olympic Games experience and this, combined with its latest digital technology, gives the Olympic Movement a partner which is a leader in its field. As important as the Partner's vital role for the staging of the Olympic Games is its support for the athletes and teams from all corners of the globe', said Gerhard Heiberg, IOC Member and Chairman of the IOC Marketing Commission.
MEI has been an Official Partner since the TOP programme was introduced for the Calgary and Seoul Olympic Games in 1988. The TOP programme aims to provide financial and technical support for the Olympic Games and support for every National Olympic Committee and the entire Olympic Movement. The IOC's TOP initiative is the only worldwide Olympic sponsorship programme.