Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Mascot of the Month: Peter Ueberroth

As the Olympics rush towards us, I acknowledge Peter Ueberroth the man sometimes credited (along with a lot of others over time) who helped saved the Olympics as they hit a bad spot.
Mr. Ueberroth brought the Olympics to Los Angeles in the middle of a bad spell.  Cities had gone broke trying to stage the games, Montreal and Moscow spent huge sums.  Los Angeles promised (laughingly at the time) to make money on the games.
Peter Ueberroth and the Los Angeles games did make money by taking 2 unique paths.  First, Peter Ueberroth was the first to sell "Exclusive Olympic Sponsorships" - before the Olympic Committee took that over.  And he sold to the highest bidder to make sure the games made money (which angered some Americans as Fuji Film became the Official Olympic Film - instead of Kodak).  The second way was to reuse current venues instead of building everything new.
The Olympic Committee now essentially requires new facilities, that are often white elephants (19 of 21 Athens sites are in disrepair, and many of the key Beijing sites including the Bird's Nest are also left to waste).  But, in 1984, Los Angeles was the only bidder.
And the LA Olympics did make money.  Only the second Olympics to make money to that date (the other was the 1932 games in Los Angeles).  The LA Olympic committee donated money to Los Angeles inner city sports groups for over 20 years (maybe longer, I only know until the year 2005).
With Ronald Reagan at as Commissioner of Baseball
After the LA Games, Mr. Ueberroth became the Commissioner of Baseball, but he will always be Mr. LA Olympics to me.
Opening Cerimonies in LA

At the Volleyball Games in the Moscow Olympics

1 comment:

Montana said...

Great Mascot ! Happy 4th to everyone and even to our British friends !