In news that made history last Monday, International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach announced that Coca-Cola and China Mengniu Dairy teamed up for the unprecedented ‘Joint Top Partnership’. The deal combines the non-alcoholic beverage and dairy categories into a new joint category under the Worldwide TOP Programme, the highest level of Olympic sponsorship.
The agreement extends Coca Cola’s long-running support of the Olympics and welcomes the Chinese dairy giant to the elite circle of the top global Olympic partners. The 12 year-deal includes exclusive marketing rights that cover four summer Olympics and two Winter Olympics as well as the Paralympics and Youth Olympic Games.
“Having our longest-standing partner, Coca-Cola, an iconic American brand, together with a young Chinese company, Mengniu, joining hands under the roof of our Worldwide TOP Programme is a great example of the unifying power of the Olympic spirit,” said Bach.
While some analysts speculate the deal is worth USD$3 billion, neither the International Olympic Committee nor either of the companies disclosed the details. Nevertheless, the groundbreaking agreement will serve as a unique investment in the promotion of Olympic values worldwide.
Coca-Cola has been with the Olympics for more than 90 years and is the longest continuous sponsor of the event.
Founded in 1999, Mengniu has done quite well, and pretty quickly, too. Aside from dominating the Asian market, the fast-moving consumer goods company ranked 10th as the largest dairy company worldwide in 2017. A year later, the Chinese top milk manufacturer sponsored the FIFA World Cup held in Russia.
Claiming the top Olympic sponsorship now, Mengniu is the most recent to join the Asian-Olimpic partnership. Alongside Alibaba, Toyota, Bridgestone, and Panasonic, the agreement is another testament to the region’s fast-growing international business expansion.
“ will act as a catalyst for Mengniu to grow around the world. This is a vital step in our international strategy, and we are honoured to have the opportunity to build the positive reputation of Chinese food and beverage brands among consumers globally,” said Mengniu Chief Executive Jeffrey Lu.