The early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic all but halted the Power Five college sports conferences’ seemingly unstoppable revenue growth, new federal tax records show. After averaging collective annual increases of nearly $252 million over the previous six years, the conferences’ combined revenue rose by less than $11 million in fiscal 2020 and remained just over $2.9 billion. Two of the five saw income declines, and another operated at a modest loss even though its revenue increased. The conferences other than the Southeastern provided their new returns this week in response to requests from USA TODAY Sports. The SEC made its return public in early February. The documents provided new information about commissioners’ pre-pandemic pay and their employment statuses. They also revealed fresh insight into the conferences’ total spending on lobbying related to legislation concerning athletes’ ability to make money from their name, image and likeness. Pay for the Big Ten’s new commissioner, Kevin Warren, was disclosed for the first time on the conference’s new return. Although his biography on the conference’s website says he “officially began his tenure” on Jan. 2, 2020, the return says his start date was Sept. 16, 2019, and he was credited with a total of nearly $1.2 million for the calendar year. Annualized, that’s about $4.1 million. The return said Jim Delany remained with the conference through June 30, 2020, and for 2019 he was credited with a total of just more than $8.5 million. That included more than $2.8 million as the second full year’s worth of money from the more than $20 million in future bonuses for which he became fully eligible in July 2015 and began receiving in 2017. The conference said Thursday that, also in 2015, a consulting agreement with Delany was put in place that will last at least until 2023. The Pac-12’s now-outgoing Larry Scott was credited with a little more than $4.6 million for 2019 — $800,000 less the amount reported for him for 2018. Scott’s bonus for 2019 was $875,000. That’s $1.325 million less than the one he received in 2018 and his lowest since 2010, his first full calendar year with the conference, when he got $626,000. The conference said Scott’s bonus is tied to growth in media revenues, and in years when new thresholds are met, certain bonuses are higher than in years when a new threshold was not met. The Big 12’s Bob Bowlsby was credited with $4.4 million in 2019, up by about $350,000 over 2018 due to the vesting of deferred compensation, the conference said. The ACC’s then-commissioner John Swofford was credited with just over $4 million, about $250,000 than he received in 2018.(Under IRS rules, a non-profit organization must report its revenue and expense data based on its fiscal year, but it must report compensation data based on the calendar year completed during the fiscal year.
All data is taken from the source: http://usatoday.com
Article Link: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/2021/05/20/power-five-college-sports-conference-revenues-slowed-covid-pandemic/5184848001/
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