Olympians in any event have a combination of drive, talent and dedication. They have committed their lives to achieving the goal of being the best in their chosen sport These athletes, in combination with the talent and drive, must still train and practice for hours each and every day. To get into peak physical shape, these athletes treat their training like a job ” seven days a week, eight hours per day. This is their job.
So how does the aspiring Olympic athlete pay for housing, food, coaches and so on when their training is their job.
The Olympics are non-professional, non-paying games and as such these athletes depend on sponsorships. These sponsorships can help pay for the training of the athletes as well as living expenses.
Until 1971, athletes participating in the Olympics were prohibited from accepting prizes and/or endorsements and professional athletes could not participate in the Olympics. These amateur athletes could only accept private sponsorships from friends and fans.
After 1971, athletes could receive money for training and could have sponsorships outside the private realm. They could now be sponsored by sports and national organizations, as well as businesses. In later years, this eligibility to receive sponsorships and money expanded to include the Paralympic games as well. In 1982, professional athletes, such as those from the NBA were allowed to compete in the Games.
Corporate sponsors now play a big part in these Olympic athletes. These athletes can also receive endorsements from their sponsors. Endorsements are more prestigious than sponsorships, as companies only”endorse” a small number of athletes or teams.
Corporate sponsorship of teams can cost a business millions. We’ve all seen those cycling teams all wearing jerseys from their sponsor business. Teams with corporate sponsorships are displaying company logos in exchange for money, thus becoming a employee-employer business relationship.