• Kyodo

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Toyota Motor Corp. will sign a contract later this month for the top-ranked Olympic sponsorship, becoming the first-ever automaker in the world to do so, sources said Monday.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach will attend the signing ceremony to be held on March 13 in Tokyo, they said.

Toyota will join 11 companies with exclusive worldwide marketing rights under The Olympic Partner, or TOP, Program, such as Coca-Cola Co. and McDonald’s Corp.

The automaker will be the third Japanese company to become the TOP sponsor after Panasonic Corp. and Bridgestone Corp.

Its contract period is expected to cover the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games and the value of the deal could be in the vicinity of ¥100 billion ($835 million).

The TOP program, launched in 1985, accepts one company in a designated product or service category.

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