SBD/September 23, 2011/Olympics

USOC Still Undecided On Whether To Bid For '22 Or '24 Olympics

The USOC will continue to build international relationships with IOC members before deciding whether it will put a bid forward for the '22 or '24 Olympics, USOC Chair Larry Probst said Friday in his opening address at the U.S. Olympic Assembly. "I know that begs the question: Is there an Olympic bid in our future? Are we going to pursue the '22 Winter Games or wait for the Summer Games in '24? Frankly, it's premature to answer those questions. ... The friendships we develop (internationally) will help us understand when it is once again our time." A key part of that process will be negotiating a new revenue-sharing agreement with the IOC. The USOC's current contract with the IOC guarantees it 12.5% of U.S. TV revenue and 16% of worldwide Olympic sponsorship revenue. Probst said rewriting that contract, which has been criticized by international Olympic groups, is key to the USOC's international relations strategy and long-term financial security. Probst: "It will take some time (to reach an agreement) but we're moving in the right direction."

ON THE RIGHT TRACK: USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said the USOC already has secured 78% of its revenue for the '13-16 quadrennial. It has $255M in TV revenue and $120M in international sponsorship revenue already secured. A recent renewal with BP and another with Nike have contributed to securing $38.8M in domestic sponsorship revenue, approximately 25% of the $150.3M in domestic sponsorship it has generated for the '09-12 quadrennial. Blackmun: "We're well positioned as we go into the next quad." The USOC is on track to generate a record $53M in fundraising revenue for this quad courtesy of $16M raised this year. Looking ahead to '12, Blackmun said that the USOC is focused on analyzing how it gets the best return from its resources. Should it continue to put the same amount of money into Paralympic sports? How should it contribute to sports organizations that are part of the Pan Am Games but not the Olympics? Should it continue to support its training centers at the same level in the future? Those are the tough questions Blackmun said he will be looking to answer in the future. But he said, "We feel good about where we're going. I hope you do, too."

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