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Kinesiology & Physical Education


U.S. Public Law 95-606 (otherwise known as the Amateur Sports Act), passed in 1978, has contributed significantly to the relationship between the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the past thirty years. Exclusive rights to the use of Olympic marks and emblems in the U.S. territory granted to it in the Amateur Sports Act were leveraged by the USOC to obtain amounts of Olympic generated revenue from the sale of television rights fees and major corporate sponsorships far larger than any of the other National Olympic Committees (NOCs) recognized by the IOC. This privileged financial position has become a divisive issue for the USOC, IOC, and the world’s 204 other NOCs. The IOC and USOC have agreed to commence discussions towards the establishment of a revised method to distribute Olympic revenue to members of the Olympic Tripartite (IOC, NOCs, and International Sport Federations). We suggest broadening this discussion to include a move to increase the amount of money from these sources transferred to Olympic Organizing Committees (OCOGs) to support a more formalized legacy plan for Olympic athletic facilities in host cities, and adding a new sponsor category to the existing corporate sponsorship program, The Olympic Partners (TOP), to enhance the IOC’s commitment to social responsibility and sustainability. We also propose a new formula for the distribution of Olympic television and corporate sponsorship revenue as a means of contributing to this dialogue that must target a mutually acceptable resolution in order to foster a more harmonious working relationship between the IOC and USOC.


This article was originally published in SAIS Review, 31(3): 117-133. © 2011 Johns Hopkins University Press.