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Firms coming forward to sponsor Tokyo Olympics 2020 despite COVID-19: CEO Toshiro Muto

The delay will incur additional costs for organisers but Muto, who said the final figure would not be known until December, is hopeful new sponsors will help bridge the gap.

twitter-logoReuters | July 22, 2020 | Updated 10:50 IST
Firms coming forward to sponsor Tokyo Olympics 2020 despite COVID-19: CEO Toshiro Muto

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto has told Reuters the organising committee expects to take on several new sponsors in the coming months despite businesses being hit hard by the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Tokyo Olympics were due to start on Friday but were put back to 2021 due to the pandemic.

The delay will incur additional costs for organisers but Muto, who said the final figure would not be known until December, is hopeful new sponsors will help bridge the gap. Local estimates suggest the one-year delay will cost $2 billion to $6 billion. Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said that it will pick up $650 million to defray the cost of delay. The rest is on the local organising committee, and various levels of Japanese government.

"I know that businesses are in dire circumstances because of coronavirus but still there are companies who are coming forward to say they want to sponsor the Games, which we appreciate very much," Muto told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. "It is a bright piece of news."

Muto said he hoped all of Tokyo 2020's current sponsors would extend their contracts until the start of the Games next year. A poll conducted by Japanese public broadcaster NHK last month found two-thirds of Tokyo 2020's corporate sponsors were undecided on whether to continue their support.

It was reported last month that local sponsors have chipped in a record $3.3 billion to support the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

That's at least two times more than any previous Olympics, and it amounts to almost 60% of the income for the privately funded operating budget. Another 14% of the income is budgeted from ticket sales, which could be in jeopardy with empty venues a possibility because of the coronavirus.

A poll published in June by Japanese broadcasters NHK said two-thirds of sponsors are undecided about extending for another year. 67 companies have signed up as local sponsors for the Olympics or Paralympics, most lined up by Dentsu Inc, the giant Japanese advertising agency that serves as the exclusive marketing agency for Tokyo 2020.

Also read: India Ideas Summit: PM Modi to deliver keynote address on India-US ties amid COVID-19

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