The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee will start a Team USA Athlete Marketing Platform pilot program, a first-of-its-kind digital marketplace that expands athlete sponsorship and marketing opportunities. Part of the program involves connecting Team USA sponsors and licensees directly with athletes.
The platform’s aim will be to provide incremental revenue opportunities and marketing exposure for Team USA athletes. It was created in cooperation with the Athletes’ Advisory Council and National Governing Bodies Council. It will be optional for athletes and does not impact existing sponsorship deals.
Instead, the platform will give athletes the chance to create possibilities for additional branding collaborations and incremental revenue, an opportunity that athletes have called for over several years. Under the new program, participating athletes control what brands to engage with, categories to protect, images to approve and causes to champion. It would provide expanded earning opportunities to athletes who may otherwise have limited access to sponsors via a guaranteed base payment for group marketing rights, and potential incremental revenue opportunities via individual endorsement and licensing opportunities.
“AMP is a huge shift in approach and an exciting step in Olympic and Paralympic athlete marketing,” said Chris Mazdzer, three-time Olympian in luge and Beijing 2022 hopeful. “Team USA athletes give their all to represent the United States at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This program recognizes that commitment and the desire of athletes to seek out opportunities and take greater ownership in connecting with partners and managing opportunities.”
The program includes certain parameters for usage that intends to establish equity and diversity in representation of athletes and maintain the critical commercial funding provided to athletes by their NGB.
“AMP was born from a shared recognition that empowering Team USA athletes to expand marketing and earning opportunities is the right thing to do for athletes, and an opportunity to elevate Olympic and Paralympic sport broadly,” said USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland. “This program will link the incredible athletes and personalities at the heart of the Olympic and Paralympic movements with the innovative Team USA partners who help tell their stories.”