| SOCHI, Russia
SOCHI, Russia The International Olympic Committee has extended its sponsorship deal with Panasonic for another eight years to 2024, making it the first sponsor to do so, the IOC announced on Thursday.
The Japanese electronics company's current deal with the IOC goes until 2016 and the Rio de Janeiro summer Olympics.
"We are thrilled to be able to announce that we will continue to work with our long-term partner Panasonic," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement.
Panasonic has been one of the IOC's elite sponsors since 1985, signing up to The Olympic Programme (TOP), which currently comprises just 10 major companies.
Although the IOC does not reveal the financial terms of its TOP deals, the total sponsorship package for the 2013-2016 period is estimated to generate about $1 billion in revenue, up from $663 million a decade ago.
"Panasonic was one of the founding members of our global sponsorship programme, and is the first partner to commit to continue its global sponsorship through 2024," Bach said.
"This is a clear demonstration of Panasonic's continuing belief in the Olympic values and the company's global commitment to the Olympic movement."
The contract extension includes two upcoming Olympics in Asia, the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Games in South Korea as well as the 2020 summer Games awarded to Tokyo last September.
The hosts for the 2024 and 2026 Olympics have yet to be determined.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Peter Rutherford)