Coca-Cola partners with a Chinese dairy company to sponsor the Olympics

Posted at 5:45 AM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 07:45:26-04

Coca-Cola has teamed up with a Chinese dairy company to sponsor the Olympics until 2032.

The International Olympic Committee announced the mega partnership between the US beverage giantand China Mengniu Dairy on Monday.

The joint advertising deal covers the 12 years leading up to 2032, which includes four Summer Olympics and two Winter Olympics. It also includes marketing rights for the Paralympic Games and the Youth Olympics.

The IOC and Coca-Cola declined to comment on the value of the deal, but the Financial Times reported it was worth as much as $3 billion. Mengniu did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Coca-Cola has been associated with the Olympics since 1928. Its current sponsorship deal runs until 2020.

Other corporate sponsors of the Olympics include Intel, Samsung, Visa, Toyota and Panasonic, as well as another Chinese company — tech giant Alibaba.

Mengniu claims to be China’s biggest dairy, with 40 plants across China, New Zealand and Indonesia capable of producing over 9 million tons of products a year.

It caters to customers across Asia, Australia and Canada, but is hoping to use its Olympic endorsement to expand its international business.

“[The deal] will act as a catalyst for Mengniu to grow around the world,” CEO Jeffrey Lu said in a statement. “This is a vital step in our international strategy,” he added.

Mengniu’s partnership with one of America’s best known brands comes at a tense time for the US-China relationship. The two countries are locked in a trade war, with both sides imposing new tariffs in recent months.

IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement that the deal was “a great example of the unifying power of the Olympic spirit.”

The next Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo in 2020 and Beijing hosts the next edition of the Winter Games in 2022. The host city for the the 2026 Winter Olympics will be announced later on Monday.