SBD/June 12, 2013/Olympics

USOC Approves Creation Of New U.S. Olympic Foundation, Hopes To Narrow '24 Bid Cities

Blackmun hopes the USOC can raise more than $50M per year by '16
The USOC BOD yesterday approved the creation of a new U.S. Olympic Foundation, which will try to raise more than $35M in the coming years to support athletes and amateur sports. The approval highlighted a USOC board meeting at McDonald’s HQs in Oak Brook, Ill. USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said the organization is 10 days away from hiring a chief development officer to run the foundation. He last week interviewed fewer than 10 finalists for the job. Blackmun said candidates had backgrounds in philanthropy, management and sports. He added, “People who don’t really understand amateur sport and the Olympic movement seem to have a harder time acclimating. We really wanted to try to focus in on someone with a background in sport.” The USOC has a 20-person fundraising staff that raised $17M last year. It also built a group of 45 trustees who commit to donating more than $300,000 over four years. But Blackmun believes the organization can do better in the future and has set a goal of topping more than $50M a year by ‘16. Blackmun also briefed the board on the USOC’s effort to identify a U.S. bid city for the ‘24 Olympics. He said the organization is speaking with 10 cities about bidding for those Games. Dallas, Philadelphia and Baltimore-Washington have all publicly expressed interest, but Blackmun declined to confirm the interest of any cities. The USOC hopes to narrow the list to three cities by the end of the year and then select a city to put forward by the end of ‘14. The ‘24 host city will not be selected until ‘17. Blackmun said that the USOC is being very deliberate in how it is moving forward. Blackmun: “One of the things we want to accomplish here is not to create a domestic competition.” In addition to those items, the USOC board got an update on sports performance, marketing and finance. USOC Chair Larry Probst said that “revenues are ahead of plan and our spending is (below) plan.”
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