This page will be updated as needed to continue to provide clarity as this program evolves. The pilot will officially launch in April 2021.
Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Team USA Athlete Marketing Platform Overview
Q: What is AMP?
A: The Team USA Athlete Marketing Platform, launching as a pilot in 2021, is an innovative, athletes-first program designed to expand, streamline and elevate marketing opportunities and earning potential for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Created in cooperation with athletes and National Governing Bodies, the opt-in platform is the first of its kind and places Team USA sponsors and licensees directly at athletes’ fingertips via an app and online, providing athletes with opportunities to elevate their voice and personal brand. The platform will continue to evolve and improve based on athlete input and experience over time.
AMP expands the possibilities for branding collaborations that may otherwise be out of reach. It is optional and allows Team USA athletes the flexibility to opt out of brands and categories to protect individual or sport-specific endorsement deals. Powered by turnkey, mobile-friendly technology, the platform offers a custom solution that will reimagine and expand athlete sponsorship and earning opportunities within the Olympic and Paralympic ecosystem, both today and for future generations of Team USA.
In addition to commercial use, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and LA28 will utilize the platform to engage athletes in social, branding and fundraising opportunities to drive awareness for Team USA. The USOPC will also provide athletes brand education and development opportunities.
In 2021, eligible athletes will be invited to participate as product testers of the new platform, allowing athletes who opt in opportunities to earn incremental dollars between March 2021-March 2022.
Q: Which Team USA athletes are eligible to participate?
A: Athlete eligibility for the pilot program is determined by the prior year’s world championships or Operation Gold equivalent event by sport. Due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 and future event schedules, the most recent year’s events will be used. Based on the criteria, athletes can be eligible for:
- The full AMP pilot program - including group, licensed merchandise and individual marketing opportunities, OR
- Individual marketing opportunities.
Eligible athletes include those who:
- Finished in the top-eight individual event or top-six team event finishes in the most recent year’s world championships or equivalent Operation Gold event as agreed upon with each NGB (Olympic and Paralympic program events only)
Eligible athletes include those who:
- Competed in the most recent year’s world championships or equivalent Operation Gold event as agreed upon with each NGB (Olympic and Paralympic program events only)
- Have qualified for the Olympic or Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020
- Have qualified for the Olympic or Paralympic Games Beijing 2022
Q: For team sports, who specifically is eligible? Does it include practice squads?
A: Team sports include rostered athletes and may include international training squads or partners connected to the event.
Q: If athletes who meet the qualification criteria have now retired, are they still eligible?
A: Yes. Athletes who meet the qualification criteria will be offered the opportunity to enroll for the pilot.
Q: What earning opportunities are available within the platform?
A: In a unique diversified structure, athletes can receive funding in three distinct ways:
- Group Marketing: Athletes earn a base payment of $1,250, split into two equal installments, for group marketing rights for the one-year pilot, regardless of IP usage. In this way and unlike other professional sports properties, athletes are guaranteed a financial benefit. As part of this group marketing model, Team USA partners can use the name, image, and/or likeness of a minimum of three athletes in a group to show their support of Team USA. All athletes shown must be from different NGBs and shown collectively as Team USA. This model uses athletes’ existing NIL, and does not require additional time or commitment from the athlete beyond a potential initial photo shoot (where existing imagery may not exist). The group marketing base payment was calculated based on a landscape analysis of group marketing payments across other properties cross-referenced against expected partner usage within the AMP pilot.
- Licensed Merchandise: Athletes participating in group marketing may also opt in to licensed merchandise opportunities to earn additional funding when fans purchase official Team USA merchandise that features their name, image, or likeness. For use of their name and likeness, athletes will receive 50% of the royalty received by the USOPC.
- Individual Marketing: Athletes who opt in to individual marketing can earn incremental revenue through endorsement deals with Team USA partners and organizations. AMP makes the connection, and the athlete negotiates the payment and terms. Athletes will be provided with education and information related to athlete value and thresholds/rates to set for different use cases and are free to either use these rates or set their own rates. The suggested individual marketing minimum-rates were calculated based on an analysis of individual athletes rates across a wide range of sports and use cases. Unlike the group model, individual marketing opportunities require additional time from the athlete.
A: AMP is open to approximately 800 athletes who meet the full AMP pilot eligibility criteria, and all receive the same base payment for opting in to group marketing. An additional 800 athletes will also be invited to the pilot for individual marketing opportunities. Final athlete numbers will depend on enrollment since program participation is optional.
Q: What is group marketing and what are some examples of opportunities?
A: Group marketing allows Team USA partners to use the name, image, and/or likeness of a minimum of three athletes collectively in a group (Rule of 3) to show their support of Team USA. Partners are required to feature at least three athletes from three different NGBs in any creative. Outside of possible production shoots, group marketing does not require athlete time and can include print, out of home, digital, social and other creative mediums. Group marketing provides athletes with a guaranteed base payment for group marketing rights.
Q: What is the Rule of 3?
A: The Rule of 3 is the minimum parameter by which partners can access and activate group marketing rights. The Rule of 3 specifies that Team USA partners may use, for advertising and promotional purposes, the name, likeness and identities of a minimum of three or more eligible Team USA athletes in their marketing, advertising and promotional programs and materials.
Q: What is individual marketing and what are some examples of opportunities?
A: Individual marketing provides athletes the opportunity to earn incremental revenue through endorsement deals with Team USA brands and partners. Opportunities require athlete time and could include social posts, press interviews and podcasts, appearances and meet and greets, on-pack IP inclusion, and more. These agreements are short-term, often non-exclusive opportunities that do not replace annual exclusive endorsement deals. Athletes set their desired price for opportunities and can approve or decline opportunities accordingly. Resources are available for athletes who want guidance in setting pricing based on industry best practices.
Q: What are some examples of licensed merchandise opportunities?
A: Athletes who opt in to group marketing have the opportunity to opt in to licensed merchandise opportunities to have their name featured on generic, unbranded apparel sold in the Team USA Shop, including caps, t-shirts and hoodies.
Q: Can athletes who are eligible for the full AMP pilot program choose to just opt in to individual opportunities?
A: Yes. An athlete eligible for the full AMP pilot may choose what opportunities to opt in to, including just choosing to participate in individual marketing.
Q: Can an athlete just opt-in to licensed merchandise and not individual marketing or group marketing?
A: At this time, licensed merchandised opportunities are tied to group marketing. If an athlete opts in to group marketing, they then have the option of opting in or out of licensed merchandise.
Q: What current processes does AMP replace? How will this make athlete sponsorship opportunities more efficient and effective?
A: There is no current process that AMP replaces - rather, it is a more seamless way for athletes and partners to connect. Currently, the USOPC does not offer one streamlined process for connecting athletes with marketing opportunities, and sponsors are not able to connect directly with athletes. AMP was built to close this gap.
Q: How will feedback be collected during the pilot?
A: An Athlete-NGB AMP Pilot Working Group will help to evaluate and monitor the pilot, focusing on: (1) usage and diversity of usage (by partner, athlete and sport), (2) revenue generated for athletes, (3) rights management, and (4) athlete, NGB and Team USA partner feedback.
Q: How can I submit questions or feedback?
A: Please send questions and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: Athletes eligible for the full AMP pilot program (including group marketing, licensed merchandise and individual marketing) will be invited to join the pilot in March 2021. Athletes eligible for just individual marketing will be invited in March 2021 or as they qualify for Team USA for Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022. If you have questions and/or concerns regarding your eligibility please reach out to email@example.com.
Q: How does AMP benefit athletes?
A: AMP was strategically designed to benefit athletes in a variety of ways – including:
- Athlete financial support. With a guaranteed base payment structure for group marketing that is the first of its kind and protects individual endorsement opportunities, AMP provides incremental funding to Team USA athletes, while also unlocking additional earning and marketing potential.
- Athlete empowerment and optionality. By democratizing the athlete-sponsor experience through a unique opt-in model, AMP gives athletes a greater voice, and more ownership, flexibility and direct access to sponsors than ever before.
- Visibility for more Team USA athletes. AMP expands partnership opportunities for the majority of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls who do not have personal endorsement deals and would otherwise have limited access to sponsorship opportunities.
- Streamlined opportunities. AMP provides opportunities for more athletes and brands to collaborate year-round, while streamlining avenues for athletes to align with marketing initiatives and philanthropic causes that amplify their voice and reflect their personal brand.
- Branding education. The program is strategically designed to infuse education opportunities that will equip athletes with the necessary tools, data and knowledge to develop and elevate their personal brand – and by virtue, their sport – while strategically assessing their value in the marketplace. Working with the AAC, NGBs and the agency Athletes First Partners, our goal is to arm athletes with the right information to help build their brand and tell their unique individual stories.
- Scalability and sustainability. AMP provides a long-term framework to enhance individual athlete, Team USA and NGB brand exposure, while meeting the unique needs for a broad base of athletes, partners and sports.
Q: Are athletes required to participate?
A: No, participation is entirely optional. In order to participate, athletes must opt in to the AMP program by signing the Athlete AMP Agreement and declaring category conflicts based on (a) any existing endorsement deals (b) personal conflicts (i.e. vegan) or (c) if they choose, where their NGB has a conflicting sponsor. Athletes must opt in to a minimum of 50% of available categories in order to be eligible for the full AMP program.
Q: What factors should athletes consider when deciding to participate?
A: Please click here to view an enrollment checklist of considerations.
Q: Are there legal resources available to help as I consider my option to enroll?
A: The Office of the Athlete Ombuds will maintain a list of volunteer attorneys/agents available to provide counsel, at no cost, to elite athletes who seek independent advice regarding individual commercial engagements and agreements, and in particular, as they consider joining AMP and how the terms of this program intersect with other commitments they might have. Please reach out firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Q: Will there be a cap on usage for group marketing? How do I protect the value of my IP from overuse in group marketing?
A: For the pilot there will be a cap on group marketing usage such that an athlete cannot be utilized in more than five partner campaigns during the term of the agreement. (Note that usage is quantified by campaign versus the channel within a campaign). The goal for group marketing is for partners to access the broadest possible range of athletes and sports to tell a diversified story across the Olympic and Paralympic movements, and we will monitor and adjust to this goal based on what we learn from the pilot.
Q: How is usage defined within group marketing?
A: Usage is quantified by campaign versus by channel within a campaign. For example, if partner selects three athletes for a 100 Days Out campaign, then those three athletes can be featured on point of sale, out of home and print ad displays tied to the same campaign. This would be considered one use as long as all of those use cases/channels are submitted for review at the same time under one campaign
Q: Are current NCAA student-athletes eligible to participate?
A: NCAA athletes who qualify for AMP under the eligibility requirements listed above, may join AMP for individual marketing only, and should only be used for the purposes of USOPC and/or NGB marketing. As it stands today, and in accordance with current guidelines, NCAA athletes will not be eligible for group marketing, and should not engage with partner brands for any individual marketing opportunities.
Q: What information are athletes required to provide when they opt in to AMP?
A: Eligible athletes who are invited to participate will be sent an email prompting them to sign up. First, athletes will be responsible for setting up their account by confirming and updating profile information, filling out a survey to indicate brand preferences, and linking to social media accounts. Much like other online marketplaces, the more information included by athletes in their profile, the greater the likelihood that partners will understand an athlete’s story. Following profile and account set-up, athletes who opt in to group marketing will be required to sign the Athlete AMP Agreement. Once signed, athletes will have full access to AMP, and partners will be able to access and view athlete profiles for group and/or licensing opportunities. Athletes who are part of group marketing will also receive their base payment of $1,250 for one year of group marketing rights for the pilot program, which will be paid in two payments: on or before May 31, 2021, and within 30 days of the completion of their sports’ respective Games. For those participating in just individual marketing opportunities, individual contracts will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
Q: How will athletes be notified of any group marketing deals in which their name, image and likeness is featured? Are athletes able to opt out of the activation and if so, what is the timeline to do so?
A: Once an athlete has opted into a category, Team USA partners in those categories are able to access and select an athlete’s IP for group marketing campaigns. Upon partner selection, athletes will receive a notification via the AMP platform indicating they have been selected for a group marketing activation. In addition, once a partner has finalized campaign elements and creative, athletes will receive a subsequent notification with information regarding the campaign.
At any point in time, athletes can either opt out of a particular category or opt out of AMP entirely (which may potentially impact the athlete receiving their full base payment). However, any “live” use cases where athletes have already been notified of their selection within group marketing will be permitted to continue through the length of the stated campaign period.
Q: What if an athlete has a conflict or enters into a new endorsement deal during the course of the AMP pilot program? Can an athlete opt out of group marketing?
A: Athletes with pre-existing exclusive marketing deals or personal conflicts can opt out of sponsor categories. In the case of an athlete signing a new sponsorship mid-year with a competing non-sponsor brand, the athlete can still opt out of a category and/or opt out of AMP entirely via the AMP portal. Per the Athlete AMP Agreement, any creative in-market will remain in-market until the end of the noted campaign period.
Q: Are athletes part of the approval process for any creative going out in market that features an athlete’s name, image or likeness?
A: For every group marketing use case, athletes will have the ability to approve imagery. Team USA will review and approve all final creative to ensure it is within the guidelines of group marketing and the rights athletes have released. Athletes will receive a notification through the platform to make them aware of the campaign and the creative. For every individual use case, athletes will have creative approval rights through the AMP platform.
Q: Will athletes still be eligible to receive marketing opportunities with official Team USA sponsors if they do not opt in to AMP?
A: Yes, athletes who decide not to opt in to AMP can still work with Team USA sponsors outside of the platform.
Q: For individual marketing opportunities, is there an application process? How do I show interest?
A: Athletes can then either apply to open opportunities or reply directly when approached by Team USA sponsors.
Q: Do athletes get access to group marketing for all four years of the quad?
A: No. For the pilot program, athletes are given access to group marketing rights for a one-year period from March 23, 2021 through March 31, 2022.
Q: How are the group marketing rights in AMP different from the marketing rights that athletes already agree to when signing a USOPC contract?
A: Currently, athletes grant rights for the USOPC to include the athlete name, image and likeness in USOPC marketing and communication materials. For those athletes who decide to participate, AMP expands the group marketing rights that athletes already agree to by extending group marketing to Team USA partners and licensees.
A: The base payment of $1,250 for one year of group marketing rights for the pilot program will be paid in two payments: on or before May 31, 2021, and within 30 days of the completion of athletes’ sports’ respective Games. Assuming the athlete remains opted in to 50% of the categories in the platform through the term, the athlete will receive both portions of their payment regardless of athlete use in creative materials and/or qualifying for the Games. Payment for individual marketing will be paid as agreed upon by the athlete and partner. Payment for licensed merchandise will be paid on a quarterly basis, based on product sold on the Team USA Shop.
Q: Is payment guaranteed regardless of the impact of COVID-19 on Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022?
A: Yes, payment for the full AMP pilot is guaranteed regardless of any modification to the Games.
Q: Is payment guaranteed regardless if I qualify for Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022?
A: Yes, payment for the full AMP pilot is guaranteed regardless of qualification for the Games.
Q: Are all opportunities paid?
A: Yes! Individual marketing opportunities are paid at a rate agreed upon by the athlete and the partner. Group marketing opportunities are paid for by the base payment, regardless of athlete use in creative materials. Licensed merchandise opportunities are paid as a royalty payment, based on quantity of product (featuring athlete NIL) that is sold on Team USA Shop.
Q: Will athletes need a contract for every group and individual marketing opportunity?
A: For individual marketing, yes –a new contract is required for each opportunity. Each negotiated opportunity with a partner may include multiple activations (social media post, speaking engagement) within one contract. For group marketing, no – the overall contract that athletes agree to when enrolling into the AMP program will cover all group marketing opportunities.
Q: How is pricing determined?
A: Within the platform, athletes have total authority to set their own rate for every individual opportunity. To help athletes, we have employed a blend of marketplace research for athletes across various sports to determine appropriate ranges for a variety of active-use cases. Marketplace rates may change over time and can be subject to negotiation, but the guidelines are intended to arm athletes with as much information as possible when considering opportunities.
Q: Can athletes negotiate their fee for individual marketing usage?
A: Yes, athletes will have the ability to negotiate their fees. Education and resources will be provided to serve as guidance around marketplace rates.
Q: Does a portion of athlete individual marketing fee get taken out to cover costs for the AMP program?
A: No, 100% of the rate that athletes negotiate goes directly to the athlete.
Q: How will AMP work with any NGB GLAs (group licensing agreements) in place?
A: Because AMP is optional, NGB GLAs may or may not conflict with AMP. GLAs that allow NGB partners to use NGB athletes collectively can still happen at the same time that Team USA partners use Team USA athletes collectively (one per NGB). If categories do conflict, the athlete has an option to either opt out of that category and/or not participate in AMP in its entirety.
Team USA Partner Role
A: All current Team USA domestic sponsors and global TOP (Olympic and Paralympic) partners will have access to AMP.
Q: How can a Team USA partner utilize athlete name, image and likeness?
A: Team USA partners are able to utilize, for advertising and promotional purposes, the name, likeness and identities of three or more eligible Team USA athletes in their marketing, advertising and promotional programs and materials. Additionally, sponsors have the opportunity to work with athletes through individual marketing. These agreements are short-term, often non-exclusive opportunities that do not replace annual exclusive endorsement deals.
Q: How long does a Team USA partner have the right to use athlete likeness and in what markets will athlete likeness be used? Are these deals exclusive?
A: The AMP program is non-exclusive. For group marketing, a brand has the right to use athlete likeness for the duration of the campaign, not exceeding the length of the athlete AMP contract. For the AMP pilot, all group marketing campaigns must conclude by March 31, 2022. AMP rights are only available within the U.S. market.
Q: What processes are in place to ensure athlete and sport diversity in group marketing creative?
A: Team USA partners are required to adhere to the following guidelines to ensure diversity in athletes and sport:
- Each featured athlete must represent a different NGB.
- Athletes must be shown collectively and referenced at least once on any piece of creative as Team USA.
- Each athlete must be displayed in creative with equal prominence.
Q: Who determines the term of each deal? How long will athletes be involved in each campaign?
A: The length of any campaign is determined by the Team USA partner. For group marketing purposes, the athlete will be committed through the duration of the campaign. For individual marketing purposes, the athlete will be committed through the duration of their specific – and agreed-upon – activation.
Q: What happens when a Team USA partner uses an athlete in a campaign and it evolves into an annual endorsement deal? Is the negotiation independent of AMP?
A: Any endorsement deal stemming from a Team USA partner is negotiated directly between the athlete and the brand, and is independent of USOPC.
Q: Are Team USA partners able to choose the specific athletes they are interested in using for a campaign?
A: Sponsors will have the ability to choose eligible athletes that are a part of the AMP program who have elected to participate within the respective category.
Q: Can Team USA partners use athletes who are signed on as endorsees, but not part of the AMP program?
A: Athletes with individual brand endorsement deals cannot be shown collectively with AMP athletes (i.e. no “mixing and mingling” of individual endorsers and AMP athletes, so as not to infringe on endorsement deals).
Q: Do Team USA partners have to sign onto the AMP program if they just want to use athlete(s) for individual marketing?
A: AMP was built to make it simple for athletes and Team USA partners to enter into new agreements, such as sponsored social media posts or appearances. Team USA partners and athletes must use the platform for group marketing, and are encouraged, but not required, to use the AMP platform for individual marketing. Partners may use the platform for individual marketing even if they are not participating in a group marketing campaign.
Q: Team USA partners already have access to athletes, what is the benefit of joining the AMP program?
A: The AMP program provides Team USA partners with easier access to a diverse population of athletes and a turn-key and scalable solution to sponsorship needs. AMP will take the backend work out of the activation process from beginning to end. Everything from researching the right athletes for your activation, to contracting to execution on a scalable basis will be possible through AMP.
Q: Where can Team USA partners access athlete imagery?
A: Where imagery is available, partners can access athlete imagery via the platform or separately via Getty Images, and/or individual partner production shoots (where applicable). Partners will be responsible for purchasing image licensing rights. Partners will be responsible for any required edits in photos and footage.
A: The USOPC engaged in a broad and significant RFP and evaluated a number of different potential vendors for this platform technology. Opendorse was ultimately selected because of its existing, well-regarded infrastructure and itsf focus on putting the athlete at the center of the marketplace. In addition to the custom, closed-door AMP marketplace, Opendorse has a separate open platform, connecting athletes across the country with brands.
Q: What is the relationship with Opendorse?
A: The USOPC has entered into a vendor relationship with Opendorse and grants access to the Opendorse platform to Team USA partners who will provide opportunities to athletes.
Q: If Team USA partners also have access to the site, are they also customers of Opendorse?
A: Team USA partners access the site through the USOPC’s relationship with Opendorse. They access the program through the closed AMP platform offering and do not have a separate relationship or contract with Opendorse. Partners may access the broader Opendorse open platform by opting into Opendorse offerings separately and in addition to the closed AMP platform offering. Partners (in addition to all users of the platform will have to agree to terms & conditions to access the site).
Q: Do partners have to pay a subscription fee to Opendorse?
A: Team USA partners are obligated to pay a 10% transaction fee for individual marketing use cases – in addition to what an athlete charges for their time and marketing service. While Opendorse will be paid a fee, it does not impact the athlete and should not impact any athlete-agent representation arrangement.
Q: Does Opendorse have the right to promote athletes using Opendorse?
A: Opendorse does not have any publicity rights with athletes unless the athlete elects to participate on Opendorse’s open platform versus just the closed AMP platform.
Q: What is the Opendorse “Assessment” on my profile and how was it calculated?
A: As part of its partnership with the USOPC, Opendorse will provide an assessment, which includes a social media name, image, and likeness (NIL) valuation, to all Team USA Athletes who opt in to AMP. The Opendorse Assessment is an in-depth analysis of an athlete’s social media health, featuring personalized insights and steps that can be taken to improve. As part of the assessment, Opendorse analyzes each athlete’s social media channels and compares a variety of metrics to determine the Opendorse Social Media NIL Valuation™. The formula is based on factors like follower count, sport, position, and transaction data from the partnerships Opendorse has with thousands of athletes in the U.S., among others. The Opendorse Annual Social Media NIL Valuation™ is a total of earnings to be had if an athlete were to accept every projected endorsement offer—these are values, but not actual offers. The values provide an understanding of what could be offered, but in the end, the market and brands will determine the actual value of potential deals.
Q: How does AMP work for athletes who have agents? Will agents have access to the AMP platform?
A: Athletes can indicate if they would like their authorized representative to represent them in deal negotiations and conversations with sponsors. During the enrollment process, athletes will have the opportunity to indicate the name and contact information for their agent. We are building agent access to the platform, where agents will receive an invitation to the platform that links to the athlete profile.
Q: Will alumni be involved in this effort?
A: Following the pilot program, the USOPC will look to incorporate alumni into AMP through individual marketing opportunities.
Q: Is any portion of the platform public facing so athletes can showcase their brand externally?
A: As part of the pilot, we are exploring ways to help athletes distribute their profiles externally.
Q: How does AMP work with Rule 40?
A: The closed AMP system connects athletes directly with Team USA partners. Athletes will still be responsible for declaring sponsors on the Rule 40 platform.
Q: How does AMP work during Games-time?
A: Athletes can update their category conflicts and brand preferences at any time on the AMP tech platform. Prior to Games time, athletes can update their selections to protect categories where they don’t want to be featured.