IOC keen to sign Chinese TOP deal

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The International Olympic Committee is hoping a Chinese company will join its TOP sponsorship program for the next instalment of the Games.

Speaking to Reuters, IOC marketing head, Gerhard Heiberg said that in the past the TOP program has mainly attracted western companies that have experience in sports marketing but the IOC is trying to make the program more universal.

According to Heiberg most major Asian companies, particularly those from China, did not know what sports marketing was up until the 2008 Beijing Olympics. However he did point out that TOP program member, Samsung, has done very well out of sport sponsorship and is committed to the program through to 2016.

Heiberg also suggested that the number of sponsorships on offer under the TOP program may be reduced when the program is reviewed in 2020. At the moment the TOP program is limited to 12 companies. The IOC has deals with 11.

He hinted that perhaps the host organising committees may receive some of the categories in the future.

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