Airbnb inks $500 million sponsorship deal with IOC for 10 years, weighing IPO ahead

The nine-year deal that covers five editions including next year's games in Tokyo, places Airbnb among the 12 top sponsors for Olympics

Airbnb Pixabay

Airbnb on Monday announced that it has inked a $500 million sponsorship deal with the International Olympic Committee for Olympics. The contract that will continue till 2028 is one of the biggest sponsorship deals signed by Airbnb ever.

The agreement was unveiled at London in the presence of IOC president Thomas Bachand Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia on Monday. The sponsorship deal comes just months before the accommodation booking platform goes for its IPO in 2020. However, the deal won't make any changes into the Olympic village.

Understandably, Airbnb wants to make its presence felt globally and the new sponsorship deal is a bid to achieve that goal. The deal makes Airbnb rub shoulders with big corporate brands like Toyota, Coca Cola and Bridgestone, who share a long association with Olympics. Going by the recent big deals for Olympics, Airbnb's deal is in line with the likes of Panasonic and Bridgestone, which entered into a four-year sponsorship deal between $200 and $250 billion.

Airbnb, with this sponsorship deal, immediately becomes part of International Olympic Committee's worldwide sponsorship program and will cover the next five Olympics till 2028. These include 2020 Tokyo Olympics as well as the subsequent winter and summer Olympics in Beijing, Los Angeles, Milan and Paris.

Big leap for Airbnb

Olympic City
Olympic City at Rio de Janeiro Pixabay

The new sponsorship deal is certainly a big strategic move by the company, as it allows it to share the status of main 12 Olympic sponsors. The top 12 sponsors are the main revenue generators for the International Olympic Committee. In the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic, the top 12 sponsors generated over $1 billion revenues combined, followed by a similar amount at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics.

Airbnb want to be part of the big league as it wants to capture the global travel accommodation market. Moreover, the next five locations for Olympics — Tokyo, Paris, Los Angeles, Beijing and Milan — are also the company's biggest markets for travel accommodation rentals.

Moreover, Airbnb wants to build an image before it goes for an IPO in 2020. The accommodation booking platform had previously been approached by several airline companies and other big brands to enter into cross promotional and sponsorship deals. However, it had so far turned down most of the deals.

There couldn't have been a better choice than choosing to get into a sponsorship deal with the IOC Olympics given that Olympics is a global event and attracts huge viewership both at the venues and also on television and online streaming platforms.