By Barry Janoff
May 24, 2012: The International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee today jointly unveiled a revenue-sharing agreement that will, beginning in 2020, "govern the financial relationship between the two parties for two decades."
The agreement, which both sides said was signed six months prior to the date that negotiations were originally scheduled to begin, "restructures how TOP [the IOC's top-tier marketing partner program] and U.S. television revenues are shared and also provides for USOC contributions to the IOC’s administrative costs associated with the Olympic Games."
The deal was revealed in conjunction with the SportAccord Conference in Quebec City. It came with just over 60 days to go until the Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Games in London, athough the new deal will not directly impact the USOC's presence there.
Financial and other details of the agreement, which runs to 2040, were not released.
The IOC and USOC have been at odds over such key factors as television and marketing revenues for several years, which in turn proved, among other elements, to be a political roadblock in the U.S. seeking to host the Summer Olympics for 2012 (New York) and Chicago (2016, which were awarded to Rio de Janeiro).
The USOC also decided to refrain from bidding on the the 2020 Summer Games, the host nation of which will be selected by the IOC in September 2013 from among Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul.
The alliance paves the way for the "further strengthening of the relationship" between the IOC and the USOC and "proves once again the importance of collaboration and partnership in the development and advancement of the Olympic movement."
The USOC will now likely put strong consideration into bidding on the 2022 Winter Games or the 2024 Summer Games. USOC president Larry Probst and USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said during a press conference in Quebec City, which also featured IOC President Jacques Rogge, that USOC board members would meet in June to discuss their options.
"Our strategy is to develop a strategy at this point," said Blackmun.
"I can confidently say that we have accomplished that goal and have set the stage for a much more collaborative relationship going forward.”
“I would like to thank President Rogge and his colleagues at the IOC who worked so diligently over the course of the last year and a half to find a solution that works for all parties," said Probst. "I can confidently say that we have accomplished that goal and have set the stage for a much more collaborative relationship going forward.”
"The USOC is an absolutely crucial pillar in the Olympic movement," said Rogge said during the press conference. “This agreement lays a cornerstone which will provide the foundations for the continued growth of the movement and our shared values, not just in the United States but around the world."
Olympic Torch Photo: Courtesy IOC