With the COVID-19 outbreak showing no signs of abating, Tokyo's Olympic Games will be postponed for a year to 2021, according to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The move comes after various countries, including Australia, Canada and the UK, said they would not compete in the Games this summer, citing safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic
In an interview with USA Today, earlier in the day, senior IOC official Dick Pound told the publication "postponement has been decided", admitting the ramifications of the decision will be "immense".
The Games had been scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9 2020. Over the weekend, the IOC said it would decide within four weeks whether the Games would be delayed.
The postponement will have huge effects not only on Japan's economy, but also on key stakeholders such as advertising giant Dentsu Group, which is heavily involved in the planning and operation of the sporting event. Broadcasters relying on critical ad revenue and sponsors invested in multi-million dollar marketing strategies will need to develop medium-term alternatives.
Dentsu Group's shares plummeted to seven-year lows in February amid concerns that the Games would be cancelled. On Monday, shares rose more than 12% on reports that the Games might be postponed rather than cancelled. Dentsu stock gained sharply in Tuesday afternoon trade, closing up another 5% before the Prime Minister's announcement. Dentsu declined Campaign's invitation to comment on early reports of the pending move.
The postponement marks the first time in the Olympics' 124-year modern history that the games have been delayed. The Games were cancelled outright in 1916, 1940 and 1944 during the world wars.
Stay tuned to Campaign Asia-Pacific for more on this developing story.