Dick’s Sporting Goods to End Team USA Olympics Sponsorship
(Bloomberg) -- Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. is choosing to end its partnership with the United States Olympic Committee when their contract expires this month, a decision that comes as Team USA continues to deal with fallout from the sexual-abuse scandal surrounding former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
The company cited “a new investment focus” in a statement Wednesday and didn’t mention Nassar. The decision means the retailer won’t have a presence at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. It’s working on a transition plan to assist the 86 athletes in its Contenders program, which offers Olympic hopefuls part-time work while they train.
An independent investigation released this month by the law firm Ropes & Gray LLP found that the USOC’s top executives were aware of sexual-abuse allegations against Nassar in 2015 and failed to act. The report also found that the organization lacked the institutional structure to handle sexual assault allegations.
Dick’s, based in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, is the first of the USOC’s 22 corporate partners to announce a change to their relationship since the report came out. Sponsorships and licensing make up the bulk of the USOC revenue. In the four-year cycle from 2013-16, the USOC received $387 million from its corporate partners, or 42 percent of its total revenue.
The USOC, which has undergone major changes at the executive and board levels, declined to comment on the decision. Dick’s didn’t immediately respond to questions about whether the Nassar scandal factored into its decision.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.