Frazier Joins USOPC Faculty Sports activities Sustainability Assume Tank

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DeKALB, IL – Sean T. Frazier, vice president and director of athletics at Northern Illinois University, joined the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) think tank on Monday and attended a town hall on Monday in which he will prioritize the first phase of the group

The priorities of the first phase, set by three working groups, consist of three concepts that focus on the sustainability of sport, the sport structure and vertical partnerships. The concepts were drawn up in three working groups that met in autumn 2020.

“It is an honor to be part of the USOPC College Think Tank on Sports Sustainability and to work with leaders across the country on these important issues,” said Frazier. “There’s a lot to be gained by having these conversations and working together in a way that will benefit both the NCAA student-athletes and the Olympic movement.”

The concepts developed by the USOPC Think Tank focus on partnerships across the college sector, as well as on Olympic and Paralympic movements. It recognizes that greater focus can result in operational efficiency, wasted revenue, and a unified vision of the sport path for shared athletes.

  • Sporty sustainability. Olympic and Paralympic sports need more flexibility to manage sport-specific expenses and generate income in a cost-effective manner. Changes to current policies can lower operating costs, including reducing recruitment costs and streamlining regionalized competition, as well as open access to new resources, including developing the youth sports market and partnering with national teams.
  • Sports structure. The NCAA legacy of broad-based sports sponsorship at the Division I level should be upheld. Maintaining this structure can benefit from cooperation between sports management and the national governing bodies through shared costs, political orientation and collective promotion of the sport path. By partnering with NGBs, the governing body of NCAA sports sponsorship could expand flexible membership requirements, agile seasonal operations, and adapting sport-specific rules to support the decline in Olympic and Paralympic sports within the realities of any sports ecosystem.
  • Vertical partnerships. Many Olympic and Paralympic sports rights are bundled with football and basketball deals that can limit exposure and commercial opportunities. The NCAA, schools, and NGBs could have great opportunities to get involved in sport-specific competitions to find new ways to increase awareness, notoriety, and commercial opportunities in any sport. Initial efforts could include pilot partnerships related to NCAA championships and / or NGB events, and over time, content sharing plans and school recognition programs could be added.

Over the next few months, Frazier will work with the other members of the think tank to examine relevant topics within the three concept areas and develop actionable recommendations that will then be reviewed by the USOPC Collegiate Advisory Council. The final recommendations will be communicated to the NCAA, college directors, and the USOPC board.

Launched in Fall 2020, the Sustainability Think Tank at the USOPC College of Sports is a unique measure to bring together leaders from across the college, Olympic, and Paralympic landscapes to empower them. Chaired by the University of Florida Director of Sports, Scott Stricklin, the USOPC Think Tank initiated three working groups comprised of Team USA athletes and coaches, Division I track and field directors, USOPC directors, NGB directors, and NCAA directors.

– NIU –

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