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Majority of Tokyo Olympic sponsors undecided on extension

Tokyo 2020 mascots, Miraitowa (L) and Someity (R) on stage during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Two Years To Go Ceremony at Tokyo Skytree on July 24, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

A survey in Japan has revealed two-thirds of corporate sponsors of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics are unsure if they will extend their contracts beyond this December.

Japan’s public media organization NHK conducted a survey of 78 Olympic and Paralympic sponsor companies in May, with 57 of them responding.

NHK says about 12 per cent plan to extend their contracts with the Organizing Committee, while about 65 per cent said they have not started any discussions with the committee and are undecided on extending agreements.

The sponsors who plan to extend their contracts said reports the Games would face cancellation if they cannot take place in 2021 were alarming, the same firms believed that Games without spectators in the stadium would be a reason for withdrawing sponsorship.

The Covid-19 pandemic was highlighted as the main concern for most sponsors with 68 per cent of them saying their financial situation this year has been deteriorating.

The social distancing restrictions due to Covid-19 had also prevented sponsors holding promotional events as they would potentially be held in crowded situations.

In their report NHK said companies failed to respond on how they will react if the committee asks for further financial contributions should they extend their contracts. Fourteen per cent said it would depend on the asking price on whether they will extend or not.

SportBusiness understands that the decision to ask sponsors to make extra payments will be taken in the June-July period and will determine whether domestic partners will be asked to pay more and, if so, at what percentage of the annualised fee.

During an online meeting this week the International Olympic Committee and Games organisers agreed to host a “simplified” games, cutting the financial burden caused by the postponement while prioritising safeguards against Covid-19.