Sports Business : Tokyo Olympics Postponement leads to financial toll on International Sporting Federations

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) is expecting a shortfall this year because of the coronavirus crisis and the postponement of the Tokyo…

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The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) is expecting a shortfall this year because of the coronavirus crisis and the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games until next year.

Same is the case with World Athletics (WA), Federation of International Hockey (FIH), World Sailing and various other global sporting bodies. The Tokyo 2020 postponment is effecting their coffers badly. Each of the global sports bodies under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) fold receive funds from the IOC every Olympic cycle. These funds play huge role in sustaining the global sports bodies.

Sample this
– The International Federations which runs the Olympic Sports collectively received $540 Million from the last games in Rio in 2016.
– The money is distributed using a system where federations are ranked according to their audience and size.
– World Sailing, which sits in the fourth group of federations alongside the likes of canoeing, fencing, handball and wrestling, received $12 million from the IOC for Rio 2016.
– FIBA is in the second tier of Federations, along with football, cycling, volleyball and tennis, and would have received the bulk of its $25.95 million in September 2020 after Tokyo Olympics.
– World Athletics in the top tier of the federations recieved in the range of $40 to $45 million in Rio and were due to get same kind of amounts if Tokyo 2020 would have gone ahead.
The Tokyo 2020 delay is making sustenance difficult for the Global Sporting Federations
Federations have been left with an uncertain financial future because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has sparked a near-total shutdown of sport across the world. A number of International federations representing sports on the Tokyo 2020 programme are facing cashflow challenges of varying degrees of severity as a result of the expected postponement by one year of multi-million-dollar payments they would normally have expected to receive from the IOC soon after the completion of the Games.
– World Sailing has placed almost all of its staff on furlough and has asked those earning over an undisclosed amount to take a 20 per cent pay cut until the end of the year in response to the coronavirus pandemic and postponement of Tokyo Olympics.
– FIBA has already announced that “very small group of employees” – those who “work in functions that are directly affected by the suspension of FIBA competitions” – had been placed on partial unemployment since the beginning of this month.
– World Athletics speaking to the Financial Times admitted that the organization was prepared for a financial hit, with growing expectations that the Olympic payments will be cut or delayed.
“Like many Olympic sports, we are very grateful but also reliant on the share of the IOC broadcast revenues” said World Athletics President, Lord Sebastian Coe to Financial Times in a recent interview.

The IOC is holding talks with Federations around financial support after Tokyo 2020 was pushed back to 2021.

“Various federations are in regular contact with the IOC and we are in discussions with them on all matters related to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games,” the spokesperson said. “The question of payment in relation to the IOC contribution is currently being discussed.”

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