SBJ/February 4 - 10, 2002/International

Games a payday for hockey federation

For NHL players, the Salt Lake Olympics will represent a return to the good old days of the amateur spirit, as they take the ice for national pride rather than a big paycheck.

The big paycheck will go to the International Ice Hockey Federation, the sport's governing body. Its president, René Fasel of Switzerland, has worked assiduously to make sure that the NHL is part of Olympic competition and the Olympic family, even if a somewhat distant cousin.

Olympic revenue from the 2002 Winter Games distributed to the IIHF will reach $11.1 million this year, up from $10.1 million from the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. The Olympics are the biggest source of revenue for the federation, edging out income from marketing contracts.

German sports agency KirchSport is the exclusive marketing partner of the IIHF. The federation last year signed a marketing contract through 2007 with Swiss company CWL, with whom it has worked for about 20 years. The Kirch Group now owns CWL, as well as Prisma Sport & Media and German sports agency ISPR. KirchSport holds rights to the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships, the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup, the Swedish Ice Hockey League, Germany's soccer Bundesliga and the German national soccer team.

For the IIHF, the KirchSport contract generated $9.7 million in marketing revenue for the 2000-01 season, up from the $9.2 million gained in the 1999-2000 season. Through the new enlarged group, the IIHF expects revenue from its marketing contract with KirchSport to increase to $10.2 million in the 2001-02 season and $10.6 million in 2002-03.

The IIHF's major sponsors include Nike and carmaker Skoda.

Jay Stuart is editorial director for SporTVision magazine and Sports TV Report and Sports Investor newsletters.

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Related Topics:

Hockey, Olympics

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