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Olympic turnaround by Michael Payne

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4. The shoemaker’s vision

Dazzling

The Olympic turnaround was based on the development of two financial strategies. If the first and most important was income from broadcasting rights then the second was the exploitation of the Olympic brand through sponsorship. This is where the debate about the involvement of commerce in the Olympics was, and remains, at its most fierce.

When Samaranch took over the IOC, its commercial operations were a mess. To sort it out, he enlisted the help of Horst Dassler. Dassler’s link to the Olympics began in 1956 when, as a twenty-year old, he was sent to Australia by his mother, Kathe Dassler, to distribute shoes made by the family sports shoe company Adidas to athletes at the Melbourne Olympics. This was a novel ...

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