Shake up US Olympic Committee Cause of Rio Win for 2016

From The New York Times: A shakeup in 2008 at the United States Olympic Committee may have contributed the US losing in first round balloting on Friday in Copenhagen, Denmark.   The Times points out that infighting between various US sports organizations.

A leadership change which including the retirement of long time USOC Chairman  Peter V. Ueberroth . The selection of Larry Probst of Electronic Arts, the head of the largest video game maker in US to Chairman. The appointment of Stephanie  Streeter to Replace  USOC CEO Jim Scherr . In addition to those changes, was the wholesale replacement of the following  departments leaders: Sports Performance, Marketing, and Human Resources.

Leaders of American amateur sports bristled  the changes at the USOC especially of the Corporate background of Probst and Streeter and their lack of Olympic backgrounds. Another factor is Streeter salary over a half-million dollars a 30% increase over Scherr salary which came after 54 people were laid off.

Critics of the USOC including Skip Gilbert of Association of Chief Executives of Sport, a collation of 45 Olympic sports organizations in the US says it time to evaluate the USOC management.

“Now’s the time that we’re going to build some consensus as to what do we think is the next move in order to right the ship,” Gilbert said. One item high on the agenda, he said, is whether to recommend a change in leadership.

James Easton,  a member of both the International Olympic Committee and board member of the USOC wonders did the role Probst and Streeter played in failure of USOC to win Chicago in 2016.

“You look back at it and think that it might have been a better decision for them to go,” said James Easton, an I.O.C. member who is on the U.S.O.C. board.

Another problem is the NBC Sports. NBC has over the years earned they lion share of worldwide Adverting revenue. NBC invested heavily in Olympics over last twenty years the for the US rights. Including 20% of global money and nearly 13%  all TV ad revenue. TV contracts will expire in 2013.

NBC wanted to create an Olympic Network and made an announcement in last July. It didn’t go well. IOC rebuked NBC and basically killed the plans.

“It was really bad timing to bring it up,” said Bill Martin, the University of Michigan athletic director and former acting president of the U.S.O.C. “No question about it. You just don’t do it prior to a vote of this nature.”

But IOC member Anita De Franz who also a member of the USOC dismissed  criticism of IOC members of the current USOC leadership;Just give them a chance.

“What the people within the I.O.C. were calling for was people that they knew,” she said. “It didn’t matter what their backgrounds were.”

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