Two thirds of the domestic sponsors of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games are uncertain whether to continue the proposed agreements into the rescheduled 2021 games, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
A poll conducted by the broadcaster, which surveyed 57 of the 78 partners, found that 65 per cent of the sponsors supporting the summer Olympics are hesitant to extend their agreements to the reorganised event taking place between July 23 and August 8, with only around 12 per cent of sponsors planning to extend at this time.
NHK’s survey also uncovered that 68 per cent of those that responded had encountered financial troubles by cause of the Covid-19 pandemic, lending the idea that sponsors could be unwilling to make significant financial decisions during this unprecedented time.
Since the postponement of the games in March, organisers have not been able to re-enter negotiations with the sponsors amid fears that the event could be cancelled altogether if the Covid-19 crisis continues to disrupt event organisers and athletes like has already been witnessed. Officials quickly played down fears of the event not being able to go ahead, however, they have publicly stated that if the Olympics are unable to take place in 2021, then it will be cancelled altogether.
Many sponsors also fear that any promotional activities that had originally been planned in the 2020 event could be impacted by the social distancing rules that may still be actioned late into 2021.
Earlier on this month, it was announced that the Tokyo 2020 planners were outlining ideas for a much “simplified” event next year, which is set to effect local organisers, meaning sponsors could be required to make larger financial contributions. In this case, the survey disclosed that 14 per cent of sponsors’ decisions on this would depend on the price they would be required to pay.
Tokyo 2020’s sponsorship programme was set out with four clear purposes which included: securing funds for administration and delivery of the games, to enhance the Olympic brand, promote the Olympic movement and improve international competitiveness of Japanese athletes. Despite the programme having already generated a record US$3.3 billion in revenue, the 2021 games will still need support from partners in order to fulfil the purposes and goals of the programme and provide the high-quality event that Japan would want.
Author: Jake Wilkin