Personal Finance Round-Up: Summer Olympics Edition

olympic sprinterEvery four years, the Olympic games make our world feel a little more peaceful and a little more united. But unfortunately, the Olympics are still a source of criticism and controversy.

One of the controversies of 2012 has to do with the how the Olympians themselves interact with their non-Olympic sponsors. Rule 40, as it’s referred to by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) prevents Olympians from advertising any sponsorship affiliations (such as by wearing a suit that clearly reads “Arena” or a track shirt with the Adidas logo) from non-Olympic partners. The fact is, just half of America’s top Olympic track and field stars make more than $15,000 a year from the sport itself; they rely on day jobs – just like me and you – for their primary income. A sponsorship can mean the difference between having the time to focus on their Olympic dreams, and having to work 40 hours a week on top of a strict training regimen.

Sponsorship is also an issue for Forest over at Frugal Zeitgeist. In his post Why Are the Biggest Sponsors of the 2012 Olympics Being Walked Over?, the Londonder ponders whether hosting the Summer Games is actually good for the city. He takes issue with sponsors who have seemingly been given the keys to the city, saying,  “The problem is these large scale sponsors, although kind enough to give away their money, seem to be waited on hand and foot.” He also addresses certain Olympic host-city myths, such as exaggerated claims of job creation and boosts for small businesses.

Here are some other Olympic-themed posts that caught my attention this week:

How Much Is a London 2012 Gold Medal Worth? [Bargaineering]
Bigger is often seen as better, and the 2012 medals are no exception. “The medals are larger than any that have ever been made, weighing in at 375 and 400 grams. They’re 85 millimeters in diameter and are 7 millimeters thick,” reports Jim from Bargaineering. How does that translate to actual monetary value? Let’s just say that there’s more than one reason to hope for the gold or silver instead of the bronze.

The Olympics Indicator? [Think B.I.G.]
The folks at Think B.I.G. did the math to see exactly how well the international markets – as well as that of the Olympic host country – have done during the Summer Olympics for the past three decades. The stats they compiled are more impressive than a Ryan Lochte world record in the 400 individual medley.

The Cost of Raising an Olympian [Bible Money Matters]
“Most Olympic athletes have precious few years where they can compete at their prime,” writes Melissa. And during that period, the costs of training can really add up. But that’s not the only way these athletes’ decision to go for the gold impacts their bottom line. This post is a must-read if you – or someone you love – has big-time athletic aspirations.

How to Win the Gold Medal of Credit Card Management [Credit Karma]
“Instead of training with barbells and swimming pools, you’ll be using a small rectangle of plastic. When using your credit card, think like an athlete.” Are you ready to embrace your inner financial athlete to take control of your credit card debt?

Simple Olympics Party [Living Well, Spending Less]
The opening ceremonies may be over, but that doesn’t mean the Olympic festivities have to end. Ruth at Living Well, Spending Less has some great ideas for a low-cost, kid-friendly Olympic-themed party. Her post even comes with a recipe for a pound cake trifle that sounds divine – and looks patriotic.

My Olympic Memories: What Are Yours? [The Millionaire Nurse Blog]
What on Earth did the Olympic games have to do with keeping Dr. Dean from starving during his collegiate years? Head on over to his blog to find out. This post is not only a great read because of Dr. Dean’s story, but also because of some of the Olympic memories his readers have shared in the comments section.

Go for the Gold! [Quizzle Wire]
Maybe you won’t be able to win Olympic gold, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get upgraded to a gold card with your credit card company. Samantha outlines five key ways to do just that, and states, “Just because the gold medalists win their race, it does not mean they stop! They keep going and keep training! When you close a credit card account, you’re decreasing the amount of credit that’s available to you (credit limits), which impacts your credit utilization.”

  • Forest Parks

    Thanks for linking my article. The issues of sponsorship and spending of money is complicated. Personally I just hate the way the Olympics is treated as if it is a privately funded event when it really isn’t! If it was 65-80% private funded then the sponsors would have paid for the right to be treated the way they are being treated, sadly that isn’t the case!

  • CreditKarma

    Thanks for including our post! I love the Olympics, and I just can’t help but incorporate it into my writing.

  • Aaron

    These are great – we also have one about how much Olympian’s can actually earn from their wins (we interviewed an Olympic coach) :)

  • Dr Dean

    Thanks for your support. We are still watching at my house. But no McD’s this year, watching my figure….