Allianz Could be Next TOP Sponsor -- Sponsor Spotlight

Also: Paris 2024 signs first premium sponsor while Lima 2019 adds first international sponsor.

(ATR) The IOC is declining to comment to Around the Rings on what it calls "speculation" that Allianz will be the next TOP sponsor.

The German insurance giant, according to SportsBusiness Journal, is close to announcing an eight-year deal that would run from 2021 through the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

The IOC has not had an insurance partner in its top-level sponsorship program since 2008, when John Hancock left.

Allianz would be the fifth TOP sponsor member to join since 2014. Bridgestone, Toyota, Alibaba and Intel have come on board in the past four years while only McDonald’s has departed.

Allianz has been a global partner of the International Paralympic Committee since 2006. SBJ reports that the new agreement with the IOC also includes an extension with the IPC.

Paris 2024 Signs First Premium Sponsor

Games organizers inked a deal with Groupe BPCE.

The agreement was announced on Sept. 13, one year to the day that Paris was awarded the 2024 Olympics in Lima, Peru.

Groupe BPCE, with its Banque Populaire, Caisse d’Epargne, Banque Palatine and Natixis brands, becomes the first group to join the Paris 2024 national partnership program.

Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet and Laurent Mignon, CEO of Groupe BPCE, signed the deal in a ceremony on Thursday.

In sponsoring Paris 2024, Groupe BPCE strengthens its engagement with the French Olympic and Paralympic world. It also becomes a partner to France’s Olympic and Paralympic teams until 2024. The company has been active in French professional sport for over 30 years and the French NOC since 2010.

Olympic organizers said Groupe BPCE would help the mission "to get people moving in response to the challenges facing French society, by promoting participation in sport for all, the fight against sedentary lifestyles, equal opportunities, social inclusion via sport and fresh views on disability".

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Atos to Handle IT for Lima 2019

Atos is the first international sponsor to sign up for Lima 2019.

The company will be the official IT (Information Technology) provider of the 2019 Pan American and Parapan American Games. Atos systems will be integrated into every aspect of the event experience, from workforce management, cyber-security and volunteer recruitment, to rapid sporting results and commentator information systems.

Atos’ cloud-based platforms will also be used in Lima 2019’s knowledge transfer process after the Games, ensuring a valuable skills legacy for the Peruvian sports industry and future hosts.

"Lima 2019 is the biggest multi-sport event in Peru’s history. With Atos' unrivalled experience and digital capability on board, we will deliver a first-class Games and show the world Peru is ready to deliver on the global stage," Lima 2019 President Carlos Neuhaus said in a statement.

Atos has provided IT solutions to the Olympic Games since 1992 and has been a member of the IOC’s Olympic Partner (TOP) program since 2001.

"Financial inclusion" tops Mastercard priorities at 2018 Asian Games

In an exclusive interview with Around the Rings, Safdar Khan, Mastercard Division President for Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei outlined the company’s objectives for sponsoring the Asian Games.

As a developing country, Indonesia is predominantly cash-based. The world’s second-largest credit card company saw the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta as a way to start changing that.

"With an estimate of around two million visitors to the Asian Games 2018, we have the chance to collaborate with the government and bank partners to educate visitors about the convenience and comfort of cashless transactions in daily life," Khan said.

He added: "Mastercard’s support towards the Asian Games 2018 was also part of the company’s commitment to support the Indonesian government in driving financial inclusion, supporting the sportsmanship, and growing its travel industry."

The Asian Games sponsorship, Khan said, is part of the company’s "World Beyond Cash" initiative, first unveiled in 2016.

Jakarta 2018 is one of the largest events Mastercard sponsored this year. Included in the company’s marketing portfolio are the Grammys, the UEFA Champions League and the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

For the 2018 Asian Games’ activation, Mastercard recruited a slate of Indonesian athletes to promote the brand at its facilities in the GBK Asian Games park. Mastercard created a suite at the GBK Main Stadium for the exclusive use of its cardholders.

Khan said Mastercard is "always looking for opportunities to other sponsorship properties which are of the utmost interest of our valued consumers," but would not say which properties they are targeting. Mastercard’s biggest rival, Visa, is a TOP Sponsor through 2032 making an Olympic partnership a long ways off.

Written by Gerard Farek, Mark Bisson and Edward Hula III

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