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SBD Global/July 11, 2012/Olympics

BOA Faces $3.1M Shortfall Caused By Slow Sales Of Team GB Scarfs

The British Olympic Association faces "a last-minute scramble to close a £2M ($3.1M) funding gap" only weeks before the London Games, following "slower than projected sales of its Team GB 'supporters scarf' and collectable medals, and has approached government to help broker a solution" according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. The BOA says the issue will not impact the British team or its support staff, but "if it cannot raise enough cash to cover the shortfall, it will have to use up its entire reserves to do so." The government has expressed frustration "that the issue has come to a head" so closely before the start of the games, and has "little sympathy for the BOA's predicament, given the unprecedented level of funding poured into British sport over the past seven years." Andy Hunt, who is combining the roles of BOA CEO and Team GB Chef de Mission, has been "embroiled in negotiations in the hope of finding a solution this week." Three options are being explored. U.K. Sport has agreed "to provide £300,000 ($465K) from its lottery funds" to help with costs of the Team GB holding camp in Loughborough; the National Lottery "would pay for the rights to promote its investment in British sport when athletes win medals, which would yield a six-figure sum believed to be around £200,000 ($310K)"; or, the government could "buy out the post-Games right to allow small businesses and suppliers who have contributed to the Games to advertise the fact" (GUARDIAN, 7/10)
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