19th October 2020

Dentsu allegedly financially supported Tokyo 2020 whilst working for IOC

Dentsu provided over $6 million in financial support to Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics, whilst also holding a marketing contract with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), reports Reuters. Dentsu executive Kiyoshi Nakamura told investigators that his company was an IOC marketing partner of the IOC at the time of the bid, according to a 2016 interview transcript seen by the news agency. It is understood that in order to facilitate its campaign, Tokyo 2020 hired Ianton Tan, a Singapore-based consultant and owner of Black Tidings. 

It is understood that Tan was also employed by Athletics Management & Services (AMS), Dentsu’s European affiliate, as a consultant to help liaise with the organising committee for the Beijing 2015 World Athletics World Championships. In 2014, a year before he his arrest, former World Athletics President Lamine Diack extended the federation’s marketing contract with Dentsu until 2029. In July 2015, the IOC awarded the exclusive broadcast rights in 22 Asian countries to Dentsu, covering both Summer and Winter Olympic Games from 2018 to 2024. 

Lamine Diack was an IOC Member and his son, Papa Massata Diack, was a marketing consultant for World Athletics at the time. This is why French investigators widened its probe into potential corruption to include AMS in August last year. It is understood that they are investigating if Tan and Dentsu’s involvement with both Tokyo 2020 and World Athletics are linked to any form of corruption.

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