Samsung decides to extend Olympic sponsorship until 2028

By Song Su-hyun
  • Published : Dec 4, 2018 - 17:20
  • Updated : Dec 4, 2018 - 17:20

Samsung Electronics announced Tuesday the tech titan will extend its official sponsorship for the Olympics until 2028, including the 2024 Paris and 2028 Los Angeles events, dispelling rumors about its possible withdrawal after the company’s involvement in a former president’s bribery scandal.

Samsung said it signed the deal with the International Olympic Committee at Hotel Shilla in central Seoul, attended by its heir Lee Jae-yong and IOC President Thomas Bach, for a sponsorship amount publicly disclosed to cover up to the 2028 LA Olympics. 

From left: Samsung President & CEO Koh Dong-jin, Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, IOC President Thomas Bach and IOC's marketing head Takeda Tsunekazu pose for a picture at Hotel Shilla in central Seoul on Tuesday. (Samsung Electronics)

With the latest contract, Samsung will become an official sponsorship member of the Olympics for 30 years.

“Samsung will continue as the worldwide Olympic partner in the wireless communications equipment and computing equipment category, including the ability to promote artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality and 5G features of that equipment,” it said in an official statement. 

As part of the agreement, the IOC and Samsung will further develop their strategic digital collaboration to engage young generations around the world in order to promote the power of sports and the values of Olympism, it said.

IOC President Thomas Bach said, “I am delighted that we will be building on two decades of partnership with Samsung for another 10 years.”

“Over this time, we have built a partnership combining Olympic excellence and Samsung’s industry-leading wireless communications technology. Together, we are able to connect with and inspire Olympic athletes and fans around the world, and we look forward to working with Samsung to build the digital future of the Olympic Games.”

Samsung had reportedly considered opting out of Olympic sponsorship after a bribery scandal involving former President Park Geun-hye, which had included the Korea tech conglomerate’s financial influence related to a young horse rider with links to the ex-president.

“It is true that Samsung was considering a plan to halt sponsorships related to the Olympics after 2020 in Tokyo,” a Samsung official said. “Sports marketing strategy is not as effective after Samsung’s rise to the global top position with the Galaxy.”

The political circle, meanwhile, had said that Samsung should be involved as a financial sponsor, citing ambitions for South and North Korea to host the Olympics in 2032.

Samsung is the second-largest sponsor of Olympic events.

Koh Dong-jin, president and CEO of the IT and mobile communications division at Samsung, said. “Through our innovative wireless and computing equipment, which are able to support AI, VR, AR and 5G technology, we hope to spread the excitement of the games so that fans and athletes around the world can stay connected and share in the journey to achieve greatness at the highest level of sportsmanship.”

By Song Su-hyun (