SBD/Issue 241/Olympics

Chicago 2016 Reaches Joint Marketing Agreement With USOC

Chicago 2016 has reached a joint marketing agreement with the USOC that complies with IOC standards. Terms of the agreement were not available, but the approval of it is critical to Chicago 2016's chances of being selected to host the '16 Olympics. The joint marketing programme agreement, which all potential host cities must complete, determines how a host city will share domestic-marketing revenues with its national organizing committee. The USOC in '05 failed to complete a satisfactory agreement with N.Y. until the night before the IOC's vote to select the '12 Olympic city. Many pointed to the late-night negotiations over the joint marketing agreement as one of the primary factors in N.Y.'s fourth-place finish among IOC voters. Chicago 2016's ability to structure a satisfactory joint marketing agreement guarantees U.S. organizers will not be locked in contentious negotiations ahead of the IOC selection of a '16 host city October 2. It also removes one of the criticisms facing Chicago 2016 in the IOC's evaluation report, which was released today. Chicago still faces other hurdles, including the criticism that it doesn't have a full government guarantee to cover financial shortfalls (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

REPORT CARD: In Chicago, Hersh & Heinzmann report the 98-page IOC report "noted several problems" with Chicago 2016's bid, but the committee "also had concerns" about the other potential host cities -- Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. While saying all four cities could "organize the 2016 Olympic Games," the report pointed out "several flaws in the Chicago bid that could increase what the report called the 'risks ... inherent to each project.'" However, at least two of the issues cited in the report, including the lack of a joint marketing agreement, "have been resolved since the evaluation commission's visit" in April (, 9/2). Also in Chicago, Lisa Donovan notes the report "is meant to aid in the IOC's decision-making." But experts have "repeatedly said this isn't always the sole criterion used to cast a vote and that, like anything else, politics plays a role" (, 9/2).

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