Olympic spon­sor­ship

Should the Olympics open up and let ath­letes dis­play their own spon­sors?

Alpine News - - News - By Adam Begg

The Olympic move­ment has one of the most stream­lined and prof­itable spon­sor­ship frame­works in the world.

In the re­port­ing pe­riod be­tween the Van­cou­ver 2010 and the Lon­don 2012 Olympics, the Olympic move­ment raised over US$8 bil­lion in­clud­ing $3.9 bil­lion from broad­cast rights and agree­ments and US$950 mil­lion from the global top spon­sor­ship pro­gram.

It’s not that they don’t al­low spon­sor­ship, in fact it’s quite the op­po­site. They are open to any form of spon­sor­ship as long as it is theirs.

Is it time for the Olympics to get with the times and open up spon­sor­ship for their ath­letes who help gen­er­ate all this money and let them ad­ver­tise their own spon­sors who helped them reach this pin­na­cle in sport.

Since the Olympics first be­gan they have been tar­geted to­wards ama­teur sports.

This has worked in the past for sum­mer sports but for Win­ter Olympics it has been dif­fi­cult. Most Win­ter Olympians are pro­fes­sional, mean­ing that they get paid and they have spon­sors that back them and ex­pect ex­po­sure in re­turn.

Ath­letes are en­cour­aged not to tweet and send so­cial me­dia posts about non-of­fi­cial spon­sors. Their hel­met and gog­gle lo­gos have to be a cer­tain size and they are not al­lowed to ad­ver­tise the brands that have sup­ported them to get where they are.

Com­pe­ti­tions that ath­letes com­pete in to qual­ify for the Olympics pay good money to reach the podium, and brands plus en­ergy drink lo­gos are com­mon place on the nose of boards and head­wear.

Snow­boards as an ex­am­ple can be like mini bill­boards and ad­ver­tise cars, elec­tron­ics brands, en­ergy drinks, eye­wear, cloth­ing, board com­pa­nies and re­sorts.

All these com­pa­nies help shape the ath­lete and fund their jour­ney to qual­ify for the big event. They do this for the tini­est bit of ex­po­sure yet then have to forgo any cov­er­age to ad­here to the out­dated rules of the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC).

Snow­board­ers have al­ways strug­gled to be ac­cepted by the in­dus­try but with the ad­di­tion of slopestyle at the Olympics there are a lot more view­ers watch­ing our sport.

Snow­board­ers have tried to ex­press them­selves and their in­di­vid­u­al­ity as best they can while rep­re­sent­ing their coun­tries.

Heikki Sorsa was the first snowboarder to show a bit of in­di­vid­u­al­ity on the world stage when he sported a mas­sive spiked Mo­hawk at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002.

Don’t get me wrong I think that rep­re­sent­ing your coun­try is one of the high­est hon­ours that you can have as an ath­lete.

I just also think that snow­board­ers should have the right to ex­press them­selves and rep­re­sent the peo­ple and brands who helped get them there.

Snow­board­ing was cool be­fore it went to the Olympics and had to con­form to the an­cient rules of the IOC.

You can bet that the IOC and their spon­sors are prof­it­ing even more in the com­ing years off the ex­tra ex­po­sure that snow­board­ing has brought to the Olympics.

Snow­board­ers are proud to rep­re­sent their coun­tries.

Just look at Scotty James at the World Cham­pi­onships on top of the podium draped in an Aus­tralian flag, sport­ing big red box­ing gloves with a box­ing kan­ga­roo on them and a Red Bull Logo front and cen­tre on his head­wear.

Surely the time has come where snow­board­ers can still ex­press their in­di­vid­u­al­ity and their spon­sors while rep­re­sent­ing their coun­tries on the world stage.

◆ FLAIR: Snow­board cross is ex­cit­ing to watch, here Aus­tralia’s Alex Pullin (lo­cated right) in Sochi. ◆ CLEAN: Alex Pullin with a rare clean board and hel­met.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.