Airbnb just signed a $500 million contract to sponsor the Olympic Games until 2028. This is the first major sponsorship deal signed by the company, which now joins the ranks of major corporations like Coca-Cola and Toyota, who participate with the International Olympic Committee’s worldwide sponsorship program.
Airbnb’s co-founder, Joe Gebbia, said in a statement, “we have never been able to officially market to host cities or potential hosts about the opportunity of taking visitors. Through this partnership, we actually can.” The financial strain of hosting the Olympic Games is a deterrent for some cities. The Airbnb deal will minimize the need for host cities to invest millions in hotel construction to accommodate athletes, executives, and tourists. In addition, the brand would expand with exposure to new customers.
However, not everyone is excited about this partnership. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has expressed dissatisfaction over the deal as she states the home-sharing offered by Airbnb is contributing to rising rents in the French capital. She wants to ensure regulations are in place to prevent any possible negative consequences. But, the International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, assures that there is dialogue between Airbnb and other cities and countries to work out regulatory efforts.