In light of the decision to postpone the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, sponsors and stakeholders have announced their messages of support for the decision and for the IOC.
The decision to postpone the Games until no later than summer 2021 was taken after a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC President Thomas Bach and amid mounting pressure from athletes, federations and National Olympic Committees.
Since the announcement, the news has been met with widespread acceptance from sponsors, broadcasters and federations who are standing by the IOC’s decision.
Statements from a host of sponsors including Coca-Cola and Visa, broadcasters including Discovery and governing bodies including World Athletics - which has even looked into the possibility of moving its own World Championships in order to facilitate the IOC’s rescheduled date - have welcomed the postponement of the Games.
In a statement, World Athletics said: “World Athletics stands ready to work with the IOC and all sport on an alternative date for the Olympic Games in 2021 and has already been in discussion with the Organising Committee of the World Athletics Championships Oregon 21 regarding the possibility of moving the dates of this highly popular worldwide event.
“They have assured us that they will work with all of their partners and stakeholders to ensure that Oregon is able to host the World Athletics Championships on alternative dates, including dates in 2022.”
World Rugby also came out in support of the decision. The federation will see the rugby sevens version of the sport played for the second time at the Tokyo Games, and said: “World Rugby supports the prudent and necessary decision… to postpone the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“We look forward to working closely together in a spirit of partnership with the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and all other stakeholders towards the rescheduling of the Games and our belief from the outstanding Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, is that the hosts will come out of this adversity stronger and more committed than ever before to deliver an exceptional Games.”
Meanwhile, broadcaster Discovery, whose Eurosport channel is set to broadcast the Tokyo Games in the UK, said: “Discovery fully supports the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee’s plan to stage the Olympic Games in 2021 and to make every effort to ensure the well-being of spectators, athletes, staff and the international community.
“Our essential planning and deliverables are complete and will now shift into next year. We will continue to develop our products and offerings to best serve our customers and marketing partners in 2021.”
In separate statements, both Coca-Cola and Visa spoke of their commitment to supporting the Games in 2021.
Visa said it ‘commends’ the IOC for postponing the games, and its commitment to preserving the ‘health and well-being of all those involved’
It said, “As a proud sponsor of the Olympic movement for more than 30 years, we will work with the IOC, the Tokyo Organising Committee, the government of Japan and our partners in the coming months to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 as memorable in 2021 as they would have been this year.”
Coca-Cola added: “As the longest-standing sponsor of the Olympic Games, we remain committed to working together with the IOC and (Tokyo Organising Committee) to create a successful and safe event.”
No date has yet been announced for the rescheduled event, which will take place ‘no later’ than the summer of 2021.