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Olympic memories

This Mastermind Sports Management is an online international group of professionals. On a monthly basis they will share their opinion on a certain topic. You can look at the background of each mastermind by going here.

June 2012 topic: “Olympic Memories”

In a month the Olymic Games will be organized in the city of London. Our members of the Mastermind Sportmanagemetn all have their experiences with the Olympics.

 

Dennis MillerDennis Miller (Fiji)

Well I have quite a few great (and some not so great) Olympic memories..have attended 1988 (Fiji Swimming Section Manager), 1996 (Fiji Chef de Mission), 2000 (Swimming Technical Official), 2004 and 2008 (ONOC Office Coordinator in the Olympic Village).

I remember seeing Vladimir Salnikov take out the 1500m Freestyle in Seoul in 1988 with the whole stadium chanting his name…seeing Keiran Perkins from Australia winning the 1500m Freestyle in 1996 from lane 8, Michael Johnson’s golden spikes winning the 200m in World Record time in 1996, riding on the athletes’ bus from the Village to the stadium, eating in the Olympic Cafeteria and chatting to great athletes, keeping pace with Michael Phelps’ record 8 gold medals in Beijing.

The list can be quite long!

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Keith JosephKeith Joseph (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)

It was at the Barcelona Olympics (1992) where we were guaranteed that everyone working as a volunteer had been thoroughly screened before being accepted to work with the Games.

Our delegation was in the Village, in our apartment when the cleaning crew came to do their daily chores. We quickly moved into the sitting room as they went through the bedrooms and bathrooms. As they left to go to the adjacent apartment where a French contingent was staying, one of our senior athletes went to his bedroom to check on his wallet which he had left in his pillow. To his great surprise it was not there. he screamed, ‘My wallet! It is missing! I had it there in the pillow and now it’s gone!’. We were all very surprised.

Quickly and without necessarily thinking it through we all started looking around. The athlete and I walked into the adjacent apartment completely oblivious to the fact that it was host to another contingent altogether. There we were searching for all that it’s worth. We went there because the door was open and the same volunteers were cleaning there.

Just as one of the French athletes emerged from her room and started speaking in her native tongue which neither the athlete nor myself understood. It was however clear that she wanted to know what we were doing there.

Just when she was getting particularly irate the athlete shouted “Found it!” which he indeed had. He found his wallet in the trash can. It appeared that the volunteer cleaner who had taken it dropped it there for safe keeping as he saw us enter the apartment.

We reported the incident to the Games Village authorities who conducted their investigation only to discover that the individual volunteer did in fact have a police record and should not have been hired. He was immediately dismissed.

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Phil BushPhil Bush (USA)

My Olympic Memory is based on the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. I was the Event Producer for Olympic Volleyball in The Omni, which has since been replaced by Phillips Arena.

Our Schedule was very intense, Our Production staff arrived at 8:30 AM, as the first Match was at 10:30 AM. That was followed by another match in the morning session. We ended the Morning wave each day at around 2:30. The Arena closed until around 5:30, when the Omni reopened for the Evening Wave, which went from 7:30 until around 10:30. This was our schedule for 16 days, and it was more intense when we got to the Playoff Rounds. Needless to say, our staff was very tired each night!

I had gone home one night and had gone to sleep around 11:30. I woke up the next morning a little early, and clicked on NBC for the Today Show, which was live in Atlanta during the Olympics. I immediately knew something was amiss, as Tom Brokaw was on and there was an arial view of Centennial Olympic Park showing considerable damage. This was, of course the Famous Olympic Bombing.

What most did not know is this was about ½ mile away as a few from the crew went from The Omni to the actual site of the bombing. Several of our staff had gone at the end of the night to wander the Park and had been fairly close to the Bombing.

I did not know at the time what would happen, but that question was answered pretty fast. The overall Olympic Volleyball Manager, Jim Stewart, called me and indicated that “We are a go for the morning wave.” The Games went on!

We had a moment of silence for the 2 victims in that Horrific incident. Our security was amped up since we were so close to where the bombing was.

We went on and were recognized the FIVB – The International Volleyball Federation – as having put on the most successful Volleyball Event in Olympic Games History! And The Games Went On!

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Remco Tevreden (Curacao)

My first actual visit to the Olympics was in 2008. Not only did the size of this world event had a big impact on me, but the interaction with the Chinese culture also was totally new for me….and I loved every piece of it!

The memory that is engraved in my soul is that I was sitting right in front (about 20m) of the finish line in the Olympic Stadium, during the 200 meters Track & Field finals. Our athlete Churandy Martina previously didn’t manage to win a medal in the 100m final, so this would be his last chance for a medal. One of our local radio stations called me to comment live, and the tension was enormous!

In less than 20 seconds the world saw Jamaican Usain Bolt destroy the records, but I only focused on Churandy, as he won the silver medal. It just seemed surreal that he truly did it. We had worked on his program during the last year, and there it was, his dream became reality.

I gave him the flag of our country, and then rushed to our coach in the dungeon of the stadium to celebrate and wait on Churandy who had to pass through the ‘mixed zone’ which due to numerous interviews with the international press took him about 40 minutes. During that time we heard a rumor that the USA filed a protest against Churandy, which could result in a disqualification. We just couldn’t believe this !

We agreed that our coach would attend with the officials about the correct information, and that I would accompany Churandy to the dopingcontrol. When we got out, it felt like the stadium was already empty, and I went to our coach who was still waiting on an official for more information. Churandy waited outside the room in the dungeons and was congratulated by other athletes.

The Track & Field official later came in, and told us that external video material showed that Churandy stepped on the line, and they therefore disqualified him. I couldn’t believe it, and threw the bottle of water I was holding on the floor and simply left.

I stuttered to Churandy that indeed he was disqualified, and saw how his eyes filled with water. He asked me how this could be, and why they waited for hours to take this decision. I couldn’t answer his questions.

To make a long story short, Shawn Crawford, the American Athlete who initially finished fourth, but ultimately received the Silver medal, decided to return the medal to Churandy at a competition the following month in Switzerland.

In the following video the athletes tell their side of the story:

httpv://youtu.be/cvSIu60x_eQ

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Eline Andersen (Denmark)

“Everyone is a star at the Olympics”

In Sydney 2000 the Danish delegation had the pleasure to host a visit from the Royal Family – his Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik. Crown Prince Frederik is a keen sportsman himself and in 2009 he was actually elected as IOC Member.

During his visit back in 2000 the Crown Prince went out to visit the Danish athletes at the triathlon venue. When standing with the two Danish coaches (Who were of course dressed in the official Danish national team uniform) a Dutch spectator came up to the little Danish party. She addressed the Crown Prince of Denmark – asking him to take a photo of her with the two Danish coaches which he did of course!

Morale must be: Everyone is a star at the Olympics!

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Henk DoestHenk Doest (Netherlands)

Although I have never been at an Olympic event personally my most remarkable Olympic memory was in 1988 (I was a 16 year youngster then) when the Surinamese butterfly swimmer Anthony Nesty won the first and only gold medal for country in a time of 53:00 seconds in Seoul.

The joy I experienced and sensed among the people and the way this achievement could bring people of all stands together showed the spirit and nation building power of sports.

It was a moment of pure pride to see your nations flag at the top amongst others and it was also a turning point in my live that still empowers me as a sports leader.

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Do you have any Olympic experiences to share? Leave them in the comment box below.

Last Months topic: Sponsorship examples

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Sponsorship examples

This Mastermind Sports Management is an online international group of professionals. On a monthly basis they will share their opinion on a certain topic. You can look at the background of each mastermind by going HERE.

 

April 2012 topic: Sponsorship examples

Sponsorship is always a hot topic, whether it is in big or small sport organizations. There are different ways of getting to sponsorship deals, our Mastermind discusses some interesting examples:

 

Keith JosephKeith Joseph (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)

Sponsorship in small countries can often take rather innovative forms especially in light of the limited number of corporate institutions available to the ever-increasing sport community.

Increasingly sports organizations have to turn to value-in-kind arrangements for support in their endeavors. One simple example is the offer to provide local or home-made juices to the Organizing Committee by family members of a participating club in lieu of cash contributions.

It may seem small but in many small Caribbean countries every such support proves invaluable to Organizing Committees which wish to sustain their developmental thrust.

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Remco Tevreden (Curacao)

I always advise sport organizations to not look only for financial sponsorships, but also for services and products. The big benefit for companies is that they don’t feel the financial burden so much, when they sponsor/donate with services or products.

A simple but creative way of sponsoring is one where in a soccer stadium the sponsor refused to buy one of the billboards around the field. There were so many, that this particular sponsor would not get the unique exposure they wanted. What they negotiated in their sponsorship deal, was to get exposure on all of the steps in the stadium. It was something new, and they were sure that everybody in the stadium, walking on the steps would see their brand name.

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Eline Andersen (Denmark)

WIN-WIN

In sport we are always talking about winning: Athletes win, there are event host winners and also in relation to sponsorships we should talk about winning. How do we ensure that the sponsors win by supporting an athlete, organization, event or club? When talking about clubs and their sponsorships, we often deal with sponsors that are closely involved in the actual club or sport.

An example from a very tiny triathlon club in Denmark: The club annually seeks sponsors for the local race with not more than 40 participants. The club would like to offer prizes for both the winners and random participants. This year the club has made a non-monetary sponsor deal with the much larger event KMD Challenge Copenhagen. This is an iron man event taking place in the heart of Copenhagen.

The (small) triathlon club gets a couple of free tickets for the KMD Challenge Copenhagen, the event advertises this involvement via social media. The small local club thus gets some more attention, a few more participants, some great prizes. On the other side the Challenge Copenhagen also gets some attention, more participants and some local PR for the low costs of some free tickets.

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Greg HarneyGreg Harney (USA)

Right after I started with the U.S. Olympic Committee in the mid-80s, I remember a sponsorship deal where a national tire company was donating hundreds if not thousands of tires as part of their VIK (Value In Kind) sponsorship with our Olympic Committee.

Obviously we didn’t need that many tires to support our Olympic Training Center motor pool so we decided to sell these tires to our employees and member National Governing Bodies. Subsequently, we always did something similar with too much VIK (i.e. sell the items) which the sponsors full understood.

At the end of the day, any VIK given to any sports organization should be budget relieving versus a burden to the organization!

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Dennis MillerDennis Miller (Fiji)

A swim club got the local dentist to give the club a poster of the dentist with a photograph and all his contact details. This was placed on the equipment cage where all the swimmers kept their fins, kick boards etc etc.

Kids need to see the dentist regularly, so I understand the club got a commission from the dentist.

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Do you have any examples to share? Leave them in the comment box below.

Last Months topic: Sport Management Resources

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Sport Management resources

This Mastermind Sports Management is an online international group of professionals. On a monthly basis they will share their opinion on a certain topic. You can look at the background of each mastermind by going here.

February 2012 topic: Sport Management Resource

 

You are never too old to learn, and it is a fact that to stay at the top of your game, you need to read and educate yourself on a continuous basis.  Our members of the Mastermind have some tips for you:

Dennis MillerDennis Miller (Fiji)

I attended the USA Swimming “Golden Goggles” Awards in 2011, and one of the guest appearances at the Awards was Louie Zamperini. He has an amazing story of survival after being shot down in the Pacific during World War II. I consider this a must read (Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption) and therefore recommend it for any aspiring athlete who reckons he or she is having a tough time!

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Keith JosephKeith Joseph (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)

I have read many books and it is difficult to say which one has encouraged me to get involved in sport or to stay with sport.
I recently read in rapid-fire time the book, Sprinting into history – Jamaica and the Olympic Games, written by Delano Franklyn. It is a most interesting document that chronicled the achievements of Jamaican athletes beginning with their participation at the Olympic Games of London 1948.
As a Caribbean person I felt moved by the achievements of athletes from a fellow Caribbean nation yet immensely challenged by the fact that somehow in our Caribbean region this country and that which we see as the next in line in terms of sporting achievements, Trinidad and Tobago, have been either unable or unwilling to facilitate regional integration and collective endeavour in sport for the good of the region.
Surely, as a region of a mere handful of people with a relatively common history and ancestry we could use or talents and achievements to advance the cause of the collectivity. That is my cause.

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Phil BushPhil Bush (USA)

The Movie would be Field of Dreams Field of Dreams and Rocky.  I have always enjoyed stories of Underdogs.  People who work hard to overcome obstacles against all odds are my personal Heroes.  Its much better than the most real like stories.  They are also inspirational.  It is a testimony to the Human Spirit that people overcome Odds all the time!

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Remco Tevreden (Curacao)

Until a couple of years ago I wasn’t really a reader of books (more magazines), but with the discovery of a couple of authors, I picked up this habit. One of those authors is Stephen Covey, whose book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” made a great impact on me. The book teaches basics of life, how we look at things, and especially at ourselves. It then takes it to a higher level and goes into detail of important aspects like Time Management, Leadership and Personal Management. These topics are also of great importance in the world of sports, on any level. This book is not one to read and then book it on your bookshelf….this is one to pickup frequently and to live the content day by day.
According to Covey, a habit is “the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire“. My question to you is what kind of “habits” do you have during your daily job in Sports Management? If you’re not succeeding with one of your goals, look at these 3 dimensions and most probably you can conclude that at least one of them is not on the level it supposed to be.

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Eline Andersen (Denmark)

Who moved my cheese? ( Spencer Johnson – 98 pages)

Changes are many ALSO within sports management and sports event management. Reacting to changes are human – and essential. Thus talking about humans, this wee story about mice really impressed me – and even if it is some years now that I first read the book – I still return to the basic story of it – when being confronted with changes:

WHO MOVED MY CHEESE? is a brief tale of two mice and two humans who live in a maze and one day are faced with change: someone moves their cheese. Reactions vary from quick adjustment to waiting for the situation to change by itself to suit their needs.

This story is about adjusting attitudes toward change in life, especially at work. Change occurs whether a person is ready or not, but the author affirms that it can be positive. His principles are to anticipate change, let go of the old, and do what you would do if you were not afraid. Listeners are still left with questions about making his or her own specific personal changes.

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Greg HarneyGreg Harney (USA)

When I was younger, with visions of being the next great NBA and Collegiate basketball player (for which I had no chance!), I read several John Wooden books, the former coach of the UCLA men’s basketball team that won several national titles in the sixties and seventies.   He was truly an inspirational coach and when you read his books you instantly became aware that basketball was actually secondary in his life compared to life’s values in general and the development of his players for future professional careers whether in basketball or business.  This always impressed me that here we had an unbelievable coach who at one time won 88 games in a row and he was more concerned about his players welfare than the outcome of any game.   Maybe that is why they had to rent an arena last year to host his memorial service and hopefully more coaches of his stature and character will surface in future generations!

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Henk DoestHenk Doest (Netherlands)

Mary Jane Ramirez (the protagonist in the book Fish!) has been made the manager of a “toxic energy dump”, a department in crisis that is feared and hated by everyone. Here everything gets stuck or is delayed, the employees are always discouraged and uninterested. Ramirez must find new solutions or she will fail just like her predecessors.

On her lunch break, Mary Jane discovers a small fish shop which has a completely different working atmosphere to her own office. The employees enjoy themselves, the customers are happy and as a result they sell more fish than anyone else.

The fishmonger-consultants help Mary Jane to discover the 4 secrets to creating positive and productive working environments. It is a philosophy for life: to be successful we don’t have to give up having fun and we can enjoy what we do. This philosophy can be applied on many levels: personal, family, school and work.

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Do you have any resources to share? Leave them in the comment box below.

Last Months topic: Characteristics of a Sportsmanager

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Characteristics of a Sports Manager

This Mastermind Sports Management is an online international group of professionals. On a monthly basis they will share their opinion on a certain topic. You can look at the background of each mastermind by going here.

This month’s topic: Characteristics of a Sports Manager

 

Greg Harney (USA)

Sports administrators in today’s society must possess a number of characteristics and skill sets particularly within the Olympic world that most of us live and work in every day.

To begin with, a good sports manager must be willing to work whatever hours it takes to complete a task or assignment. When I was Managing Director at the U.S. Olympic Committee, we use to preach that athletes rarely get a second chance to compete at optimal conditions so it’s critical that we as sports administrators do whatever is required to support our athletes including having to work evenings and weekends.

In addition, a good sports administrator has to be well organized. The organizational style doesn’t matter as long as the sports manager has a system that works and is effective. And since we operate within the multi-sport environment of Games, being able to multi-task (and delegate) is extremely critical.

In this regard, sports managers need to develop as many technological skills as possible particularly in today’s world of social media and the internet. The ability to communicate to athletes, team official and extended members of any delegation is so important.

But probably the most important characteristics a sports manager can have is what we refer to as the 5 Ps – Personality, Persistence, Patience, Pressure (or the ability to handle it) and being Politically Correct!

 

Dennis MillerDennis Miller (Fiji)

A few thoughts based on my experience with swim teams over the years – I have come to the conclusion in my sport that the Head Coach is probably the Team Manager.

 

  • Time Management Skills
  • Empathy with athletes
  • Ability to delegate where necessary
  • Role model for athletes
  • Crisis management skills
  • Appreciation of the wider aspects of the sport – not just the event in question
  • Report writing skills

 

Keith JosephKeith Joseph (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)

The sports manager in today’s fast-paced world of sport has to be in possession of some very important characteristics. Things in sport are never static. The stakeholders seem to keep growing. Global economic circumstances are no longer as stable as hitherto and therefore impact developments in sport as much as they do other aspects of life around the world. No one and nothing seems exempt from this.

First there must be a commitment to reading. This facilitates accessing the latest developments in the business of sport.

Secondly, there must be a sensitivity and openness to change. Things in sport change very rapidly and one must be able to assess very quickly the emerging trends in sport and determine their viability for one’s particular organisation with all its nuances.

Thirdly. there must be openness to the ideas of others and the sharing of one’s own ideas such that all benefit from the exchanges.

Finally, today’s sport manager must have the capacity to predict the future of sport given the foregoing characteristics. He/she must feel sufficiently confident with the analyses in which he/she is engaged to reliably predict the future and prepare for it.

 

Phil BushPhil Bush (USA)

It all depends on how you define “Sports Manager.” So, if it is based on Successful Events, it is pretty straight forward: Organizational capabilities, the ability to run a team correctly, and the ability to work towards the Successful completion of the event. However, let’s take it a little broader:

 

Understanding of the Competitive Structure of the event: How do you properly set the event up where it will be both exciting and Compelling for the Audience to see?

How to Market the Event to a broad Audience: Are you bringing people in- not just because they like the sport? Some may not like the sport but want to be part of something that is bigger than just a sporting event!

Ensuring that the Competitors are the Story, not the people behind the scenes: Too many Referees and Managers think the Story is about them. It is not. It is about the competitors. If it isn’t about them, then you really are not doing a good job of presenting the Story.

Ensuring that the Competition if Fair for all competitors. Its fine to have a Home Court advantage, but you must allow both teams to compete equally. If not

To make a profit or not: this depends a lot on what you are doing. To run a successful sport doesn’t mean that you do or don’t make money. It depends how big it is and what is going on. Many youth sports rely on unpaid Volunteers to make them work. So it does come down to what the expectations are for your Sport.

In sum, all of these are important. How import depends on the Sport, Level of Play, and what the Expectations are:

  • Venue Management
  • Sport Understanding
  • Competition Playing Field
  • Personnel Management
  • Youth Sports Attraction
  • Marketing Prowess

 

Remco Tevreden (Curacao)

Although the terminology of “Sports manager” and “Sports administrator” may be confusing and also used differently, for me anybody working with athletes should be a PEOPLE’S MANAGER.

What I mean with this is that it doesn’t matter if you work with athletes as a volunteer or a professional. An important characteristic should be how one deals with people having big dreams. You should know that all athletes dream about being the best, traveling around the world and of course making (lots of) money. As a manager you should have the ability to dream together with your athletes, but at the same time stay realistic. All sports managers should be aware that they operate in a multidimensional network of non-profit and commercial organizations, politicians, different cultures and international networks. This makes working in sports very interesting and at the same time complex.

The skills of a people’s manager include diplomacy, leadership, commitment and emotion. Sports are about emotion, not only on the field but also off the field. Certain rules and policies put sports managers in situations where tough decisions with enormous emotional impact need to be taken. One should be aware that sports helps you make friends…and in some cases even enemies.

 

Eline Andersen (Denmark)

Important discipline: Managing

Managing is the important verb. A sports manager must be able to manage and organize the various tasks within his or her area at the specific level where he or she is placed. Managing major sports events for example requires a lot of insight: from the very first start: to set up and efficient organization and to recruit volunteers or employees for the different areas in order to run a smooth organization/operation/event.

For the last years Sport Event Denmark has conducted a course targeted sports and event managers as some of the most frequent feedback was that sport event managers needed upgrading and also the possibility to network. The course runs over 3 modules containing business concept and development, bidding strategies, event communication, media and TV-rights, funding and partners, sponsors, effect analysis, evaluation and implementation.

As a sport event manager it is important to know about all there areas in order to organize and find relevant persons to manage the different areas.

Bottom line: Managing on the level where the sports manager is placed and obtaining the full picture of the job, knowing which jobs and tasks, collaborators and co-workers it requires to get the jobs well done – to the benefit of the athletes, officials, national and international federation, spectators, sponsors, partners etc.

In order to succeed the first step would be to get the expectations in relations to tasks and other people/organizations involved clear and not at least to learn from others via for example networking and benchmarking.

Previous topic: Characteristics of a Sports Manager.

 

Did they miss some characteristics? Leave your input in the comment box below.

 

Conflict of Interest in Sports

This Mastermind Sports Management is an online international group of professionals. On a monthly basis they will share their opinion on a certain topic. You can look at the background of each mastermind by going here.

This month’s topic: CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN SPORTS

 

Eline Andersen (Denmark)

Conflicts of interests in Sports Management have many faces. And a very practical can occur during the recruitment of volunteers: As event organizer your interest is to solve the various tasks within the event, from the accreditation center to gate keepers, floor sweepers, drivers etc. You rely on their support and work.

The volunteers on the other hand sign up for helping out within the event in order to team up with fellow friends and most importantly to become part of the event. Their motive is primarily to experience the event from inside. Therefore you must think of a set-up for the volunteers that provides these elements as well as accommodates your need for practical labor.

The UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Denmark (Sept 2011) handled this possible conflict of interest good: The event organizers managed to let many of the volunteers have a break where they could go on the course with one of the commissioners’ cars. The volunteers got a unique experience and felt the benefits of being involved in the sports event.

Greg Harney (USA)

One of the great attributes that any sports administrator can have is an impeccable reputation. However, within the world of Sports, there are so many temptations that can make it challenging for individuals to maintain a high level of integrity.

Sports, like any other business, involve numerous financial transactions and value-in-kind trades that often tempt conflict of interest by individuals within an organization. However, more subtly in sports are the non-tangible conflicts that frequently occur.

For example, it’s not uncommon for volunteer organizations to select a chairperson to oversee a working committee that distributes funds and/or services to a team or sport. And more often than not, somehow the organization that is affiliated with the Chair tends to receive the best financial allocation that the committee has to offer!

Another example is in team selection where the Head coach might arbitrarily pick his or her athlete to complete a relay roster position when the organization’s policy is to conduct an objective training camp to pick the team.

In general, most individuals involved in world sport are very admirable and are there to support athletes and teams. However, conflict of interest within sport does exist and organizations need to address it appropriately.

Dennis MillerDennis Miller (Fiji)

Interesting one in our part of the world (Oceania) when quite often decision makers in federations are also related to athletes vying for selection. Many federations or Olympic Committees in my experience do not have standard selection criteria for national team selections and this is one reason there can be disputes in this area. Olympic Committees and National Federations need to have policies in place to address possible conflicts..

 

Keith JosephKeith Joseph (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)

Conflict of interest is certainly not new to the world of sport. This is a very unfortunate reality and the impact is often disastrous.  We have, in the recent past, received word of FIFA’s latest action in respect of Austin ‘Jack’ Warner, former FIFA vice president and president of CONCACAF and the Caribbean Football Union (CFU). The international body for football has terminated a television deal that it claims reflects a conflict of interest on the part of the former football official.

The television rights to the FIFA World Cup 2014 were given to the CFU. However it was discovered that the CFU, headed by Warner, sub-licensed the rights to JD International (JDI), which is Warner’s company. JDI then sold the rights to Jamaica-based SportsMax. FIFA is claiming that it had not approved the latter arrangement said to be worth millions.

To many involved in sport the matter seemed to be a case of conflict of interest in the sport of football. But there may well be others who would claim that this could not possibly have been unknown to FIFA before and as Warner claims, it may merely be a case of the organization getting after him in yet another way. Whatever about that there remains the ethical issue of conflict of interest in sport more generally.

Some may want to suggest that there is nothing wrong if an individual has an company involved in some aspect of sport and bids for contracts being made available by an organization on which he sits. The argument here is whether or not other companies engaged in the same activity has been afforded an equal opportunity to bid; that there is a level playing field for all such companies to access the right to bid and that the winner is based on the merit of its submission. Read more

Phil BushPhil Bush (USA)

Junior Volleyball in the United States: The Club System in the USA is rife with conflict that is almost nationwide in scope. The key is to ensure that the players are the main beneficiary. Unfortunately, more often than not, Certain Clubs have away too much influence over Junior Volleyball as a whole. Certain Clubs “Own” the rights to certain tournaments that are called “National Qualifiers.” The money for clubs to enter these tourneys is large, and the beneficiary is usually the Club or Club Directors. Club Directors around the United States are charging larger and larger entry fees for these tourneys and players are not always getting the training they should. USA Volleyball should take much stronger steps to control clubs and make sure that Junior Players benefit first.

Professional Sports and TV Networks: Many Professional Sports organizations focus on having TV deals set up that benefit many people, and it usually starts with the owners of the Franchises, followed by the, Players, and then, at some point the fans. In any event, these deals start to turn Professional Sports into cheap network television. This can cause attendance to Drop, which makes for less money for the Owners and the Players.

Remco Tevreden (Curacao)

Conflict of interest basically comes down to the situation that a person gets an advantage just because he or she is (in)directly involved in the decision making process of the sports organization. Examples are parents who are in the board, and only look after their interest of their kids who are athletes. Or in cases where a board member gets the sports organization to buy only from his or her company.

Situations of these are not always negative. In some cases sports organizations can get huge discounts, as a result of the fact that a specific board member owns a shop. Another positive advantage could be that a sponsorship deal is easier to close, as the spouse of a coach is working for the potential sponsoring company.

Nevertheless a situation of Conflict of interest is a dangerous one, as the principle of fairplay and good governance is at stake. Every sports organization should take the first step of realizing the danger of getting in such a situation. The next step could then be to write some rules about deciding upon family members and lastly never spend money without having at least two or three other prizes or quotations.

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