Samsung renewed its partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to be its official partner in Wireless Communication Equipment and Computing Equipment. The new contract runs until 2020 and continues the athletic event's affiliation with Samsung Electronics, dating back almost two decades.
Samsung and the IOC first came together for the Worldwide TOP Partnership in 1998. The Japan-hosted Olympics were the first to promote a Samsung device, and the N206 became the first phone to hold the honor. The 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia continued Samsung's collaboration with the IOC. This time, Samsung's SGH-600 offered free calls for the Olympics athletes and their relatives. The next Olympics were held in Utah, and again Samsung introduced a special event for one of its phones. The SCH-T300 allowed visitors to make free calls, and together the Olympic attendees made over 4,000 of them. It all added up to a massive almost 13,000 minutes.
When the Olympics went back to Greece for the 2004 Games, Samsung created the Wireless Olympic Works, or WOW, application on its SGH-E700. 14,000 of these phones were distributed to Olympic officials. The following Olympics in Torino saw Samsung make use of Wireless Broadband (WiBro) through multimedia conferencing and other services. The SGH-D600 was used to provide the new features. In 2008, The Olympics moved to Beijing, China, and Samsung's SGH-i688 launched an updated WOW app. The Vancouver Games at the start of this decade marked the start of a public WOW app that enabled anyone to take part in the Olympic festivities.
2012 signaled the beginning of a new era for the Samsung/IOC partnership. The London Games were the first to offer an official endorsement of a phone in Samsung's flagship Galaxy line, and they started with the Galaxy S3. Last year's Olympics in Sochi, Russia presented the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. A new WOW app quickly became much more popular than in years passed: it was downloaded over half a million times. Now, Samsung's renewed relationship with the Olympics continues into next year's Rio Games. The extension was confirmed in a signing ceremony last year and means Samsung will continue to add to its legacy of 9 Olympic Games so far. The 2016 Games will mark Samsung's 10 Olympics with the IOC. Samsung's sustained association with the world's leading athletic event is welcome news at a time when the smartphone maker is struggling to outpace its rivals in sales.