Four Australian athletes were present at the announcement of News Corp Australia as a partner of the AOC ©AOC

Media giant News Corp Australia has become the latest company to sponsor the Australian Olympic team ahead of Rio 2016, it has been announced.

Under a five-year agreement signed with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), News Corp Australia will partner the team for next year’s Games in Rio, as well as Pyeongchang 2018.

They will also sponsor Australia’s athletes at Tokyo 2020.

News Corp will also provide backing at the Winter and Summer Youth Olympic Games at Lillehammer 2016 and Buenos Aires 2018.

The announcement marks the return of News Corp Australia to the AOC’s growing portfolio after the company most recently sponsored the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay.

The company's roots are in Adelaide, having been founded by Rupert Murdoch, but now has its headquarters in New York City.

It was the world's fourth-largest media group in 2014 in terms of revenue and among the newspapers it owns are The Australian, The Times in the UK and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal in the United States.

As well as providing extensive coverage of the Games across newspapers it owns in Australia, digital channels and social media, the company will also produce a 10-week campaign leading up to Rio 2016, telling the stories of the various athletes who will represent the country at the first-ever Olympics to be held in South America.

AOC President John Coates says they are very appreciative of the partnership with News Corp Australia
AOC President John Coates says they are very appreciative of the partnership with News Corp Australia ©AOC

“This a very important partnership that brings us back together for the first time in a formal way since 2000 when News was the official partner for the Torch Relay,” AOC President John Coates, also a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, said.

“And such a successful torch relay you brought that to the people of Australia and told the story of everyone who was a participant in it.

“The Rio Games will be spectacularly successful against a most spectacular backdrop of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

“You’ll have a lot to write about and a lot to cover.

“We are very appreciative of this partnership as it also gives us the opportunity to promote the values of the Olympics which is very important to us.”

Three-times Olympic swimming champion Liesel Jones, water polo Olympian Richie Campbell, world rowing silver medallist Cameron Girdlestone and rugby sevens star Tiana Penatani were all present at the announcement of the deal, which sees News Corp Australia join the likes of confectionary company Mondelēz International and Seven West Media Group on the list of official partners of the Australian team.

Related stories
October 2015: 
Australian and Cuban Olympic Committees sign partnership agreement ahead of Rio 2016
August 2015: Australian Olympic Committee sign Mondelēz as latest sponsor
May 2015: Seven West Media Group announced as latest Official Partner of Australian Olympic team
April 2015: Australian Olympic Committee sign-up bag company as Rio 2016 sponsor
March 2015: Slater and Gordon announced as Official Law Firm of Australian Olympic team