Financial Impact on Rowing Organisations


World Rowing:  “challenging” financial situation”

FISA World Rowing Treasurer Gerritjan Eggenkamp, has reported lately, that the financial situation of their organisation has becoming  “more and more challenging”. Operational loss showed of CHF345,270 (£289,384/ $380,406/  €321,430) in 2019.

Total income weighed in at CHF7.86 million (£6.58 million/$8.65 million/€7.31 million), against expenditure of CHF8.2 million (£6.8 million/$9.03 million/€7.6 million).

World Rowing President Jean-Christophe Rolland has admitted that the organisation is "highly dependent" on Olympic revenue © FISA/Igor MeijerDependent on Olympic revenues, Credit FISA/Igor Meijer

Despite the fact, that FISA’s permanent year-end reserves are “on target” of some CHF4 million (£3.3 million/ $4.4 million/ €3.7 million) at the end of 2020, World Rowing President Rolland made clear, that the “current climate in the private sponsorship market makes us highly dependent on Olympic revenue and on the few major international regattas which generate broadcast income.”

According Eggenkamp there are 3 major issues:

  • Missing contribution from the IOC due to delayed Olympic Games
  • Missing broadcasting income at 2020 Regatta Event
  • Missing income from event organizers.

Potentially, ” FISA runs a risk that it may incur losses on its asset portfolio as a result of COVID-19, especially if one or more companies in which FISA holds bonds goes bankrupt because of COVID-19.”

FISA, as a top managed organisation is facing issues. What about all the clubs around the world? Is there any local financial impact on rowing clubs? What about the local regatta organizers which were expecting additional income due to extra sales like, renting out club houses, celebrating weddings, or receiving donations during regatta events?

A German club told me, their annual carnival booth in spring got cancelled. The financial impact will be a loss of 1200€ in their balance. sheet. Their hope:  Authorities have indicated, that the annual Christmas Market might happen. “Honestly, I don’t believe that we will be having a market at all this year ” says Siggi, the clubs president.

“Funding is a real issue”. Bob, a captain in England is skeptical. ” We have reduced our activity dramatically. The motivation of our members is at a point where we see serious impact on our funding. We always had families, donating some extra £ to us. Presently, they are just not coming down to the club”.

Empty regatta course

Another income stream of the sports industry in general(Source) impacted heavily by Covid-19 is sponsorship and advertising partnerships. Forecasts have revealed that global sports sponsorship revenue fell by £14.1 billion this year due to the coronavirus outbreak. Companies spend large amounts to be affiliated with competitions, teams and individual athletes.  Rowing only takes a small part of this. Still, small and local sponsors like craft shops, repair shops, insurance brokers etc are refraining from sponsoring rowing clubs due to their own crises. And off course: regatta organizers are missing their regatta sales.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had and will continue to have very considerable effects on the rowing world. Governments and intergovernmental organizations may provide sports federations, clubs and organizations with guidance and help. Have you checked with your local authorities or your national rowing federation?

In several countries there potential funding system available:

New Zealand

Let us know about your experience? What is your club doing to increase income?


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