It's official, Toyota is minimizing its presence at the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Games, as South Korean rivals Hyundai and Kia get domestic sponsorship rights.
According to Reuters, Toyota has less appearance at this year's Olympic Games despite retaining its rights as a global sponsor of the International Olympics Committee (IOC). Rather, only a handful of representatives from the Japanese automaker were observed, while its cars are missing from the Olympic fleet.
This is odd as the Japanese automaker is an official partner of the IOC. It was in 2015 when Toyota signed its 9th-year deal with the IOC, which was also the time when the organizing body named the automaker as a top partner up to 2024. Aside from this, the Japanese marque has been dubbed as one of the founding partners of the Olympic Channel in 2016.
A spokesperson from Toyota said the company thinks that pulling some of its benefits from its the partnership is the most appropriate move. This was done after realizing that the recent Olympic event belonged to its homegrown rivals – Hyundai and Kia.
However, Hyundai and Kia have been processing separate sponsorship talks with local organizers. Both companies now hold their respective domestic sponsorship rights, including putting up pavilions in certain Olympic venues to display their latest automotive technologies – one of which is the all-black pavilion of Hyundai.
In spite of this, Toyota still has its right of using the Olympics logos in all its advertising campaigns as a global sponsor of the IOC. These ads will be seen in 30 countries aside from South Korea, where marketing will be monopolized mostly by local companies.