Olympic Games

IOC rows back on esports inclusion

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has released a statement describing discussion about the inclusion of esports as a medal event on the Olympic programme as "premature." 

It cites "uncertainties" in the development of the sector, noting specifically that "the [esports] industry is fragmented in nature, with tough competition between commercial operators."

The statement continues: "The [esports] industry is commercially driven, while on the other hand the sports movement is values-based.

UK Sport appoints first mental health lead

UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport (EIS) have appointed performance psychologist Dr James Bell to a new role as head of mental health.

The move is part of plans to improve mental health provision in the UK High Performance system.

Last month, the two organisations joined forces to publish a landmark Mental Health Strategy, following athlete welfare concerns affecting several Olympic and Paralympic sports national governing bodies.

Samsung extends TOP deal to 2028

Worldwide Olympic Partner Samsung has extended its agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the two Olympic cycles from 2020 to 2028.

The Korean tech giant, part of the IOC’s TOP programme since 1998, will continue in the wireless communications equipment and computing equipment category, with rights including the ability to promote Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and 5G features of its products.

Samsung becomes the eighth current TOP sponsor to renew its global Olympic Games rights from 2020.

Run retained by British Gymnastics

Sports marketing communications agency Run Communications has been appointed by British Gymnastics (BG) to help drive ticket sales across the national governing body’s portfolio of events.

The appointment will see Run Communications become BG’s lead agency with a brief to help raise the profile of gymnastics through regional media activity.

Over the next two years, Run will support BG in a range of activities designed to stimulate ticket sales in key localities, celebrate emerging talent and take the sport to new audiences.

Six added to BOA Athletes’ Commission

Six Olympians have been elected to the British Olympic Association’s (BOA’s) Athletes’ Commission, following a process that saw one third of eligible British athletes cast their votes.

The newly elected members were among 21 British Olympians to stand for the six available places on the 13-member Commission. They will each serve a four-year term running from 2019 to 2022.

IOC and Visa extend to 2032

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced the extension of its global partnership agreement with Visa to 2032.

The financial giant, a founding member of the IOC’s TOP programme, will also be the first of the worldwide Olympic partners to receive an automatic extension of its Paralympic Games rights, under the terms of a new joint marketing programme recently confirmed by the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Driverless Toyota cars at Tokyo 2020

Auto-manufacturing giant Toyota has revealed plans to deploy autonomous electric cars at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Japanese manufacturer, which is part of the International Olympic Committee’s TOP programme of worldwide partners, intends to use the battery-powered vehicles in the Athletes’ Village.

Olympians and Paralympians will be able to hail down the high-tech cars to help them get around the 44-hectare waterfront site in Tokyo Bay.

IOC TOP deals to include Para rights

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that top-tier Olympic partners will receive automatic global rights to the Paralympic Games from 2021.

The change, which came to light when the IOC published its host city contract for 2026, puts an end to separate rights negotiations with the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Currently, five of the 13 The Olympic Partner (TOP) sponsors - Atos, Panasonic, Samsung, Toyota and Visa - also serve as worldwide Paralympic partners, together with Allianz and BP, which each has IPC-only deals.

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