We suggested yesterday it was going to happen and the International Olympic Committee duly confirmed that Airbnb was to become the 13th company to take part at the highest level of the Olympic partnership programme.
The nine-year, five-Games partnership is designed to create a new standard for hosting including accommodation provisions that will reduce costs for Olympic Games organisers and stakeholders, minimise the need for construction of new accommodation infrastructure for the Olympic Games period, and generate direct revenue for local hosts and communities.
Working together with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Airbnb will also promote accommodation that supports accessibility for people with disabilities or other accessibility needs.
“This innovative partnership underpins our strategy to ensure that the efficient staging of the Olympic Games is sustainable and leaves a legacy for the host community,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.
“With Airbnb’s support, we will also develop new opportunities for athletes around the world to develop their own direct revenue streams through the promotion of physical activity and the Olympic values.”
“Through this partnership, there will also be a direct benefit for athletes over and above the USD 5 billion the IOC is distributing during this Olympiad for their benefit to Organising Committees and sports organisations around the world.”
“Airbnb and the IOC have a strong track record in creating and accommodating the world’s greatest events<‘ said the company co-founder Joe Gebbia.
“Our Olympic partnership will ensure that the Games are the most inclusive, accessible and sustainable yet, and leave a lasting positive legacy for athletes and host communities.”
The partnership is aimed at generating hundreds of thousands of new hosts over nine years, giving community residents the opportunity to earn extra income by providing accommodation and local experiences to visiting fans, athletes and other members of the Olympic Movement.
Airbnb Olympian Experiences will be launched shortly to provide direct earning opportunities for athletes, underlining the IOC’s efforts to support athletes and put them at the heart of the Olympic Movement.
This new category will promote sport and physical activity, and include everything from the chance to train with an Olympian to exploring a city with an elite athlete.
In the coming months, Airbnb and the IOC, through the IOC Athlete365 platform, will provide support and training to athletes interested in becoming a host on the Airbnb Experiences platform.
In addition, the IOC will make US$28 million worth of Airbnb accommodation available over the course of the partnership to athletes competing at the Olympic and Paralympic Games for competition- and training-related travel.
“I am delighted that our new global agreement with Airbnb will benefit the athletes directly,” said Kirsty Coventry, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
“This includes direct revenue opportunities from sharing their passion for sport as well as direct support for their accommodation needs.”
“We work to empower athletes around the world on and off the field of play, and this agreement is another example of how we are supporting and advocating for athletes throughout their career.”
Airbnb will also support the IOC in addressing the challenges faced by refugees around the world.
The IOC has a long-standing commitment to refugees, including cooperation with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) since 1994, the creation of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, and the creation of the Olympic Refuge Foundation in 2017.
Airbnb has been supporting refugee initiatives since 2015 through its “Open Homes” programme, which connects generous hosts with those in need of temporary accommodation, including refugees. To date, more than 35,000 people have been housed in times of need. Over the course of the partnership, the IOC and Airbnb will establish further programmes to provide long-term support to refugees.
Airbnb has previously supported the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 as a domestic sponsor.
A recent World Economic Forum study found that during the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the additional capacity provided to visitors to Rio through Airbnb’s platform was equivalent to 257 hotels, saving the city in terms of materials use and carbon emissions, while also providing approximately US$30 million in direct revenue for hosts and generating an estimated total economic activity of US$100 million in three weeks.
As a Global Partner, Airbnb will support the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the Olympic Games Paris 2024, the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 and the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028.
The agreement also includes marketing rights for the IPC and the Paralympic Games through the IOC-IPC long-term collaboration agreement, as well as for the Youth Olympic Games.
Image credits, Inpho.ie