The Commonwealth Games Federation [CGF] has signed a partnership agreement with Longines for the next three editions of the Commonwealth Games, starting with Birmingham 2022. The announcement comes on Commonwealth Day [9 March], where Birmingham 2022 revealed a Longines Countdown Clock in the heart of Birmingham’s iconic Centenary Square.
The agreement represents the first ever multi-Commonwealth Games partnership in history with Longines receiving exclusive status as the “Inaugural Partner of the Commonwealth Sport Movement”. Known worldwide for excellence in precision timing, Swiss watchmaker Longines will be the Official Partner and Timekeeper for Birmingham 2022 as well as the 2026 and 2030 Commonwealth Games. This new partnership sees Longines provide all timing and scoring equipment for every single event within the next three Commonwealth Games.
An additional aspect of the partnership means that Longines is also named as ‘Presenting Partner’ of rugby sevens, table tennis, gymnastics and athletics. The historic agreement reinforces the strong ties between Longines and the Commonwealth Games. Longines was originally a partner of the Perth 1962 Commonwealth Games and renewed its partnership for Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018.
The announcement comes on Commonwealth Day today (9 March), where the CGF, in partnership with Longines and Birmingham 2022, unveiled a Countdown Clock in Birmingham’s Centenary Square. The striking clock has begun counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the start of the opening ceremony of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, on 27 July 2022.
The Longines Countdown Clock features a fully accessible ramped approach to allow both wheelchair users and non-wheelchair users to move freely under the structure. Manufactured in England, its structure forms the shape of the iconic ‘B’ logo of the Birmingham 2022 Games. This distinctive shape was created by connecting 12 towns and cities across the region, joining together key Games locations, where for the 11 days of the Commonwealth Games, 19 sports, including eight fully integrated para-sports, will take place.
CGF CEO David Grevemberg CBE said: “I am absolutely delighted and privileged to have Longines join with us as the Inaugural Partner of the Commonwealth Sport Movement. It marks an exciting new chapter in the longstanding friendship we have had with Longines that dates back to the Perth 1962 Commonwealth Games.”
“This is a truly historic agreement and having this multi-Commonwealth Games partnership in place showcases real confidence in the future direction of the Commonwealth Sport Movement. The partnership has been made possible because of the new Games delivery model, coordinated by CGF Partnerships, which looks at multi-Games opportunities and efficiencies.”
“It is particularly special to be announcing this on Commonwealth Day, a day of celebration across the Commonwealth, where we are unveiling the Longines Countdown Clock to the Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony. With this striking yet elegant structure now taking pride of place in the iconic Centenary Square, the countdown to Birmingham 2022 has really begun.”
Longines Vice President Marketing, Matthieu Baumgartner commented: “On this special day, Longines is very excited to announce its participation in the XXIInd Commonwealth Games, considered as one of the world’s most important sporting events.”
“With 870 days to go until the start of this great event, our brand is delighted to reveal a historic multi-Commonwealth Games partnership with CGF, covering the 2022, 2026 and 2030 editions.”
“We are extremely proud of our partnership with the Commonwealth Games, which extends all the way back to the 1962 Perth Commonwealth Games and more recently the 2014 Glasgow and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.”
“Timing is crucial when it comes to winning a gold, silver or bronze medal. In this regard, Longines is looking forward to providing its timekeeping expertise in various disciplines, including Athletics (Track & Field), Gymnastics, Rugby Sevens and Table Tennis, the sports we are partnering with during the Commonwealth Games.”
“Our brand has a long history of innovation and precision in sports timekeeping, dating back to the late 19th century already. For the three next Commonwealth Games, starting with Birmingham 2022, Longines is perpetuating this history, together with athletes and sports fans from all over the world.”
John Crabtree, Chair of Birmingham 2022, said: “This marks a hugely significant day for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, as we build momentum and edge ever closer to July 2022.
“Longines has a prestigious history in sports, and great heritage when it comes to Commonwealth Games. To have their continued support for Birmingham in 2022 is very much welcomed and we are proud to have them as a partner.
“The countdown clock will become a key attraction and focal point and will ensure the people of Birmingham have a visual reminder that their city has been chosen to host one of the biggest sports and cultural events in the world. It will count down to an important moment when the eyes of the world will be on Birmingham and the West Midland region.”
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The Countdown Clock is an exciting contemporary addition to our diverse range of public art in the city.
“Set in the recently revamped Centenary Square and in front of the world-renowned Library of Birmingham, it creates a fantastic Games-related city centre destination for citizens and visitors in the years to come as the excitement builds for everything we do as a council and with our partners on the road to Birmingham 2022.”