|Sandusky Will Stay In Role
Until At Least March
The USOC yesterday named former Chicago 2016 and Hill & Knowlton communications exec Patrick Sandusky as its acting Chief Communications Officer. He will begin with the organization later this month and serve as its CCO through the Vancouver Olympics and Paralympics, which end March 21. Sandusky has a deep sports communication background that he developed over 10 years at Hill & Knowlton, where he worked on communications projects related to properties like the EPL and Rugby World Cup on behalf of corporate clients like Gillette, Nestle and Allstate. He most recently was on loan from Hill & Knowlton to the Chicago bid organization, where he served as VP/Communications from '06-09. With this offer, he will leave Hill & Knowlton. Sandusky said, "I believe in the Olympic movement and this opportunity came up and it seemed like a natural fit." Sandusky was hired by USOC Acting CEO Stephanie Streeter. There is a chance the job becomes permanent, but that will only follow conversations with the organization's new CEO, which the USOC board hopes to name by the end of the year. Sandusky said, "In the short term, it's an opportunity that works for all of us." He will remain in Chicago but spend most of his time in Colorado Springs. USOC officials said the organization is no longer working with Ari Fleischer, whom the USOC hired in May (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal
). Sandusky: "My role will be to communicate how the USOC goes forward within the Olympic movement and important steps they take -- both within the international community and, most importantly, in preparing for the Olympic Games in Vancouver" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 10/15
GOOD DECISION: In Chicago, Philip Hersh wrote maybe the USOC leadership is "beginning to get it," as Sandusky's hiring "shows at least a little comprehension of how particular an entity the USOC is -- and that skills in one area may not necessarily work in the Olympic arena." The USOC has not had a CCO since Darryl Seibel stepped down in May (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 10/14). UNIVERSAL SPORTS' Alan Abrahamson writes under the header "Sandusky -- A Dose Of Good Sense." Sandusky is "due to serve in the post through the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games," though it is "not clear whether he'll stay on past that" (UNIVERSALSPORTS.com, 10/15).