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It's Chemistry: Dow Chemical Becomes IOC TOP Partner; Will P&G, BMW Follow?

July 18, 2010: The International Olympic Committee said that the Dow Chemical Company has signed a deal to become the tenth member of The Olympic Partners (TOP) Program.

The agreement makes Dow an official Worldwide Olympic Partner and the official chemistry company of the Olympics through 2020. Financial terms were not disclosed. Analysts said that TOP partners pay upward of $100 million for four-year rights.

Dow, which worked with the IOC at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, joins an elite group of IOC worldwide TOP partners, including Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos Origin, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung and Visa. Acer, McDonald's and GE are currently signed through 2012. Atos Origin, Panasonic and Samsung are signed through 2016. Dow joins Coca-Cola, Omega and Visa as companies signed up through to 2020.

"The Olympics is a market," Dow CEO Andrew Liveris told Reuters. "This is a market and revenue opportunity that will generate $1 billion."

Insiders said that Procter & Gamble and BMW are in talks to become TOP partners in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, which would equal the dozen TOP partners IOC had going into the 2008 Games. P&G is an official partner of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and BMW has a deal with the organizing committee for the 2012 London Games. Several companies opted not to renew their TOP deals that expired after the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, including Johnson & Johnson, Lenovo, Kodak and ManuLife.

Dow's pact with the IOC includes the 2012 London Games, the 2014 Olympic Winter Olympics in Sochi, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and the 2020 Olympic Games, for which the host cities have yet to be named. As part of the agreement, Dow will also partner the IOC and the National Olympic Committees around the world.

“Dow has supported the Olympic Movement for several years, including most recently as a partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and we are delighted it will extend its partnership to a global basis for the next decade," Gerhard Heiberg IOC Marketing Commission chairman, said in a statement. "The long-term nature of this partnership is excellent news for the Olympic Movement as a whole. As a Worldwide TOP Partner, Dow supports all of the constituents including the IOC, the Organizing Committees of the Olympic Games, the National Olympic Committees and their teams, and ultimately the athletes themselves.”

According to IOC president Jacques Rogge, “We are delighted to welcome Dow to the TOP Program. As a global leader in the chemical industry and an innovator in sustainability, Dow will not only provide critical financial support to the Olympic Movement, but also bring industry-leading expertise and innovation to the Games themselves. Dow will be an important partner in making our vision for sustainability a reality.”

Dow marketing support will include multi-media efforts for the 2010 Games and beyond, but was not detailed. The company said it has annual sales of $45 billion in 2009 and employs about 52,000 people worldwide.

“With our long-standing commitment to global sustainability, innovation, scientific excellence and addressing world challenges, we believe Dow is perfectly matched to the vision of the Olympic Movement, which is about peace, progress and the world coming together to celebrate our common humanity," Dow Chemical Company chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said in a statement. "In addition, our association with the Olympic Games will present Dow with tremendous new business opportunities, making this partnership a powerful growth catalyst that comes at the right time in our company’s strategic transformation.”

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