USOC inks revenue sharing deal with IOC

U.S. Olympic Committee inked a revenue-sharing deal with the International Olympic Committee that puts to end a long-standing dispute between the organizations and could result in a U.S. bid for 2022 or 2024 games.

The financial agreement was announced today via telephone press conference with IOC president Jacques Rogge and USOC chairman Larry Probst, who did not reveal many details of the agreement but spoke only about their happiness over the conclusion.

The press conference was held in Quebec City, where officials had been meeting for the Sport Accord Convention.

“This is a very happy moment for the IOC and USOC,” Rogge said.  “This agreement will strengthen both sides.”

The Washington Post reported today that the deal ensures that the USOC, which is heaquartered in Colorado Springs, does not see a decrease in sponsor and television dollars from the IOC unless both drop dramatically. It also, however, requires the USOC to put up $20 million toward games costs. The contract replaces a 1996 deal that had been the subject of increasing acrimony, the Post reported. Many Olympic officials blame international resentment over the terms of the old agreement — perceived as overly favorable to the USOC — for the defeats of Chicago and New York’s bids to host the Summer Olympics.

The old contract guaranteed the USOC 20 percent of the IOC’s top sponsor revenues and 12.75 percent of its U.S. television revenue — more than any other national governing body. Under the new agreement the USOC would receive a lesser percentage of sponsor and television monies, the Post reported.

IOC and USOC leaders had been talking about restructuring their financial agreement for years. But it wasn’t until last year when they put pen to paper and started hammering out the details. The agreement goes into effect in 2020 and runs through 2040.

“I can confidently say that we’ve accomplished that goal and have set the stage for a much more collaborative relationship going forward,” Probst said.

USOC officials will meet this summer to begin discussions on a possible U.S. Olympic Games bid, for either the 2022 winter games or the 2024 summer games. The U.S. has not hosted winter games since 2002 and summer games since 1996.

“We hope this has removed a road block from a successful bid in U.S.,” Probst said.

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun is credited with doing the lion’s share of the work on the agreement in the last few months.

Blackmun said he hopes the signed agreement and renewed partnership between the organizations gets the IOC and USOC administrators out the news and put the spotlight back on athletes.

“This agreement demonstrates the commitment of the United States and the USOC to the worldwide Olympic Movement,” he said.”We look forward to working with the IOC, our fellow National Olympic Committees, the International Federations and our National Governing Bodies to strengthen the Olympic Movement and enhance the resources available for athletes around the globe.”