Chris Mazdzer shares how the new athlete marketing platform is creating more opportunities for athletes to tell their stories

Chris Mazdzer reacts during the Luge Team Relay at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics on February 15, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

There’s a reason the Olympics and Paralympics move people around the world in ways no other event can. Bringing athletes together, coupled with a global celebration of sport and culture, makes the Games both unique and incredibly powerful.

At the center of this celebration are the athletes. We are models of determination, perseverance, skill and represent a diversity of race, origin, age, geography, education and more. There is no equal in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in sport.

With the combined strengths of great athletes and global interest, we have a platform that fuels remarkable storytelling and, with it, a real opportunity for athletes to benefit financially.

Today marks an important day in the present and future of Olympic and Paralympic marketing with the introduction of the USOPC Athlete Marketing Platform (AMP). AMP is the result of months of work with the Athlete Advisory Council, national governing bodies and experts in the field of individual and collective marketing programs.

In a world where sporting success is measured in milliseconds on an icy track (like me, in the sport of luge) and where conditions often beyond our control can mean the difference between gold and silver, AMP is specifically designed to level the playing field when it comes to trading opportunities.

AMP opens Olympic and Paralympic marketing. It is voluntary; this is in addition to existing sponsorships and gives athletes a much easier route to determining what opportunities are available to them. It also offers control over the type of brands athletes want to work with and how best to manage those relationships.

Corporate sponsors are essential to the health and success of Team USA and, in addition to the significant funding they provide, they employ some of the best marketers in the world who help tell the athlete’s story. By helping us showcase ourselves and share our story with the world, they raise the profile of our personal brands, our sports, and the Olympic and Paralympic movements.

AMP aims to open up opportunities for athletes to connect with these partners. While providing athletes with basic financial support and assistance in managing the commercial landscape.

As we begin this new project through a pilot program, I urge all athletes to explore the program. Also join the next information sessions, participate and ask lots of questions to determine if this is right for you.

It’s time to adapt the volume of the athlete’s voice to the opportunity presented to us. Let’s work together to make the most of it!

Charles T. McConnell