A PR opportunity for the USOC

Tue, Dec 1, 2009


Even my pals, The Coffee Shop Geezers, occasionally come up with worthwhile insights, despite their advanced age(s) and incipient senile dementia.

So it was yesterday, when one of ‘em offered these sour thoughts on the USOC.

“The USOC is loathed in this community, just loathed,” said Mr. X. “They’ve never really been involved in the city anyway. The execs are in the community, but not of the community. They don’t belong to boards, they don’t support local non-profits, they don’t really hire locally. The organization may make a big contribution just by being here, but no one sees that-all they see are the stories about the city closing parks, museums, community centers, swimming pools, and youth sports-and then handing the USOC $30 million. If they just left town and gave the city that damn building back, I think most people would welcome that – even though it’d just be another kick in the butt for the city.”

Mr. X has a point.

The USOC is currently accepting applications for a “Managing director-media and communications” (a fancy way of saying “assistant P.R. director”). It’s a position that any of the scores of experienced sports reporters, editors, and P.R. professionals currently resident in our fair city could easily fill – but none of ‘em will be hired.

That’s because one of the qualifications calls for “a minimum of 8-10 years professional experience in sports public relations or sports marketing environment.” Also, “prior experience within the Olympic movement (is) a plus.”

Well. I guess that disqualifies everyone who’s not already a member of the dysfunctional little club that feasts at that particular trough. Too bad, because the pay’s pretty good. According to the job description (read it & weep, all you employed/semi-employed/unemployed editors/journalists/PR pros) “Salary 131,000-167,000 U.S. Dollar (USD).”

Talk about an incoherent job description!! ‘A minimum of 8-10 years’? Does that mean a minimum of 8 years, 9 years, or 10 years? And ‘salary 131,000-167,000 U.S. Dollar (USD)? That reads like the “Nigerian letters,” which occasionally pop up in your inbox, giving you the good news about your latest lottery win.

Enough carping! Clearly, the USOC needs better PR-and here’s some free advice.

Guys, it really doesn’t do much for your image to scam off $30 million from a broke municipality and appear to give nothing back.

Consider Las Vegas casinos, which are not exactly famous for their generosity. If you spend a weekend there, gamble away tens of thousands, and end up penniless, the casino manager will usually front you a few bucks for a bus ticket home.

In the same spirit, you might offer to pick up the tab for keeping the municipal swimming pools open this summer. Good PR, not all that expensive, and who knows-there might be a budding Michael Phelps out there, with size 16 feet and double-jointed ankles. But unless he learns to swim, he won’t be around for Chicago-oops, I mean Rio-in 2016.

And isn’t that what the Olympic movement is all about-helping America’s kids to be fit and healthy? That’s the line, anyway-and it’s up to you to show us whether you actually believe in your own slogans.

So if you do, just give city council member Sean Paige a call. He’s trying to raise enough money from private sources to keep the community centers, the pools, the Pioneers Museum, and Rockledge Ranch open, and I know that he’d be delighted to hear from you.

Here’s his contact information:

P.O. Box 1575
Colorado Springs, CO 80901Phone: 385-5470
FAX: 385-5495

E-mail address:

I know he’ll get right back to you … after all, he was once a professional journalist!

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3 Comments For This Post

  1. amanwhosees Says:

    From a local PR pro, a brilliant idea, John. If USOC is committed to this community in any way beyond “we gave them the best deal,” surely they have a charitable or community relations budget from which they could give something back to a struggling community that has bent over backwards for them.

  2. Mike Says:

    You’re absolutely right. I’m an unemployed PR pro with more than 20 years’ experience working national and international PR and I didn’t think I’d have any chance of making the cut for this position, the way it is advertised. Having worked PR for a massive government agency here in Colorado Springs, I knew that our organization and people were not just tenants here, we were an important part of the community. USOC needs to do a better job of community relations, regardless of where they have their headquarters. There are plenty of good folks here in town who could run a simple outreach program for them.

  3. Ken Cantin Says:

    They don’t even use local firms. ive tried countless times to conduct business with them and as soon as they find out we are local the become snobbish and don’t respond. sad state of affairs and i have a huge problem supporting them in any way!