Historical evolution of Olympic commercialism : the evolution of attitudes towards commercialism within the American Olympic Movement : a historical perspective / Jonathan A. Jensen

Jensen, Jonathan A.

Edited by [s.n.] - 2015

The uneasy relationship between the long-standing amateur ideals of the Olympic Games and commercialism, including sponsorship, licensing, and television, is spotlighted via this historical perspective spanning 100 years of the Olympic movement. Utilizing primary sources such as personal correspondence and minutes of meetings of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its Executive Board, this paper demonstrates how attitudes towards commercialism within the U.S.-based Olympic movement evolved from the reign of former United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and IOC President Avery Brundage to Peter Ueberroth’s leadership of the 1984 Olympics. Included within is a historical overview of several important milestones in Olympic history, including commercialism that kickstarted the Games in the early 20th century, the rising influence of television in the 1970’s, ambush marketing in the 1980’s, the development of the sponsorship program for the 1984 Olympic Games, and events leading to the establishment of The Olympic Partners (TOP) program in 1985. Calling into dispute several long-standing assumptions about the motives of American leaders in the global Olympic movement as well as several seminal figures in the development of the TOP program, this research makes an important contribution to the burgeoning literature on the history of the Olympic Games.

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