SBD/May 24, 2012/Olympics

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  • USOC, IOC Agree In Principle To Revenue-Sharing Agreement Through '40

    The USOC and IOC have agreed in principal to a new revenue-sharing agreement that will preserve the USOC’s revenues at current levels and includes an escalator for inflation. The parties agreed that the USOC will get a set percentage of new revenue growth from new areas, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. Percentages of that new formula were not available at press time. The agreement guarantees the USOC approximately $410M per quadrennial, plus inflation and a percentage of revenue from new growth areas. The USOC also agreed to continue to contribute to the cost of future Olympic Games. The new terms cover the period from ’20-40. Until then the parties will continue to abide by an agreement reached in ‘96 that gives the USOC 12.75% of U.S. broadcasting revenue and 16% of global marketing revenue. The IOC’s negotiations were led by IOC Dir General Christophe De Kepper and Exec BOD member Richard Carrion. The USOC was led by Fraser Bullock, former COO of the ’02 Salt Lake City Games, along with USOC Chair Larry Probst and CEO Scott Blackmun. The agreement requires IOC and USOC board approval. It is expected to be approved by the IOC’s Exec BOD and could be announced today. The deal clears the way for the USOC to bid to host a future Olympics. The organization’s leadership has said for more than two years that it wouldn’t bid until the issue was resolved (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

    NARROWING THE FIELD: The IOC yesterday announced that Istanbul, Tokyo and Madrid are the finalists in bidding to host the ‘20 Summer Olympics. Baku, Azerbaijan, and Doha, Qatar, were rejected for the second time in a row after failing to make the ‘16 games. The three candidate cities will now enter into Phase Two of the selection period, preparing their candidature files with an in-depth description of their Olympic project. Files from the cities will be submitted to the IOC by January 7, 2013. Following an official visit by the IOC Evaluation Commission between February and April of ‘13, a report will be made to the commission and candidate cities will brief IOC members. The election of the host city for the ’20 Games will be announced on Sept. 7, 2013 at the IOC session in Buenos Aires (IOC). The AP's Stephen Wilson cited a source as saying that the board “voted unanimously in favor of Tokyo and Madrid at 12-0 and supported Istanbul by 11-1.” The source said that the vote was “0-12 for Baku and 3-9 for Doha” (AP, 5/23).

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  • LOCOG Pleased With Ticketing System In Latest Round Of Sales

    About 500,000 tickets yesterday were made available on a first come, first served basis

    LOCOG execs said that their ticketing system “stood up to a huge influx of potential buyers as remaining Olympic tickets went on sale on Wednesday morning, although some customers complained of long waits and an unwieldy booking system,” according to Owen Gibson of the GUARDIAN. LOCOG execs said that the Ticketmaster website “had withstood an initial rush” as about 500,000 tickets yesterday were made available “on a first come, first served basis.” While those who had “succeeded in purchasing tickets took to Twitter and other social networking sites to say they were happy with the system, others complained about the erratic countdown clock that was supposed to tell them how long to wait and the frustration of a system that took up to half an hour to check whether particular tickets were still available.” An additional “150,000-200,000 tickets are to be released back on to the market, including some for previously sold-out sessions, as seating configurations are finalised, and will be added to the system as they become available” (GUARDIAN, 5/24). The London TELEGRAH reported the tickets, designed by FutureBrand -- part of McCann Worldgroup -- each feature “a sporting pictogram with a specific colour scheme, reflecting that of each venue to help spectators locate their destination.” Each ticket “will be printed with a hologram, a barcode and name of the booker as well as several other security features -- ensuring every ticket can be traced to the person who purchased it -- in a bid to reduce counterfeiting” (London TELEGRAPH, 5/23).

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  • U.K. Ministry Of Defence To Control London Airspace During Olympic Games

    U.K.'s Ministry of Defence hopes to thwart the threat of a terrorist attack

    The U.K. Ministry of Defence “will take control of London airspace for the first time since the Second World War in seven weeks’ time to thwart the threat of a terrorist attack during the Olympic Games," according to Pank & Ford of the LONDON TIMES. Military personnel will “take charge of airspace over much of the South East,” and civilian air traffic controllers will “continue to guide jets carrying the extra 500,000 visitors expected during the Games into London airports.” MoD controllers will “take overall control of the airspace, including gaps in the controlled airspace normally operated around civilian airports” (LONDON TIMES, 5/22). The Thames estuary, from the “east of the capital to the west, passed Reading, will also be carefully monitored” (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 5/22).

    OUT IN FULL FORCE: The AP’s Rob Harris noted British police “will deploy around 12,500 officers to protect the Olympic Games after facing strong criticism for their lack of manpower and slow response to last year's U.K. riots.” The Olympic operation, drawing officers “from 52 forces across Britain, will bolster the 10,500 army personnel already tasked with securing the July 27-Aug. 12 Games.” Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, who is coordinating Olympic policing, insisted officers on patrol will not be "oppressive." But he said that there “will be a robust response from the outset -- unlike during the riots -- with annual leave for officers heavily restricted and non-essential training postponed” (AP, 5/21).

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  • Olympic Notes: Twitter Shuts Down Hijackers' Handle That Stole Games Logo

    Space Hijackers' account now features a doctored version of the London Games logo

    The GUARDIAN’s Shiv Malik reports Twitter has “cracked down over online infringement of the Olympic logo" after LOCOG "complained that an activist group had used the trademark 2012 image to parody the London sporting festival.” A week after Space Hijackers “set themselves up as the ‘official protesters of the London 2012 Olympic Games,’ Twitter suspended the account without warning, saying the satirists' use of the logo as a Twitter picture was an abuse of its rules as it meant they could be ‘confused’ with an actual Olympic sponsor” (GUARDIAN, 5/24). In London, Emma Barnett noted the Space Hijackers’ account has “adopted a new Twitter avatar and wallpaper design -- featuring a doctored version of the official logo of the London Olympics” (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 5/23).

    A MERGER ON THE HORIZON? Int'l Paralympic Committee President Sir Philip Craven said that the Paralympics and Olympics “could merge.” Craven said that things are "developing all the time and nothing is 'set in stone.'" The BBC’s Damon Rose wrote the merger would be “a controversial move with some Paralympic athletes fearful that disability sporting events would be overshadowed.” But a BBC survey found that a joint Games “has some popular appeal.” Craven said, "It's really a logistical problem at the moment but I'm not dead against the idea, in principle, of them coming together at some time." He added, "It could not be before, I don't know, 2024, something like that, for the summer Games" (BBC.co.uk, 5/23).

    LANE CHANGE: London Council Transport Committee Chair Catherine West said that Olympic sponsors “should be banned from using the specially designated Games Lanes.” West said that commercial partners “should use public transport instead.” In London, David Millward noted, “30 miles of road within London will contain a Games Lane, which have been created to ensure competitors and officials reach events in time.” The lanes were created “to avoid the chaos which beset the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, where competitors [struggled] to reach events on time after being stuck in heavy traffic” (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 5/23).

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