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MacMadame
01-12-2013, 06:49 AM
Who pays for the skaters hotels at events? I know in Canada at least the official hotel is often the best one (=most expensive) one in town....I'm assuming they have to stay at the official hotel, it's a shame it's always such an expensive place. But then again, maybe they get a group rate too ;)
No, they don't have to stay at the official hotel and many don't to save money. They also will bunk up to save money and some coaches will share with their skaters so their skaters can save money. [This is US Nationals. I can't speak for other countries.]

Susan M
01-12-2013, 10:35 PM
I think the percentage of skaters who make enough money to never have to work again is extremely small.
I'd say "extremely small", as in maybe a handful, but I think there probably are a couple dozen or more who earn enough to cover their current skating and living expenses, between prize money, show/tour earnings, corporate sponsors, and whatever they get from their federations.

For example, skaters who made the GP finals probably earned a minimum of $30,000 in GP prize money. ($61,000 could be won if a skater wins their 2 events plus the Finals. For pairs & dance, the prize money is shared by the couple.) Last year's World Champions won $45,000 ($67,500 for pairs & dance). The 10th place finishers got $3,000 and $4,500. Prize money is also available for Europeans and 4CC for skaters who place top 12 ($20K -$1K for singles).

So, if a single skater won everything available, they'd be looking at $126,000 between those events. That sounds like a lot, but as mentioned above, they need to cover coaches travel & fees, rink fees (unless they have some sort of deal), off ice training expenses, plus living expenses. So, additional revenue from shows and tours really make the difference for even the top skaters. Obviously, skaters not good enough to get show or tour engagements won't see any profit and depend on part-time jobs, subsidies of their federations, families, and/or sponsors.

NadineWhite
01-13-2013, 04:27 AM
Thanks for all the interesting info.; as I said before makes me appreciate each and every skater even moreso knowing that they're doing what they're doing without profit being a motivating factor, though who wouldn't enjoy doing what one loves doing and earning a living off of it as well, the best of the both worlds. :)

This brings to mind Donlan & Speroff. IIRC I remember reading something on the 'net (maybe their official site) wherein Andrew mentioned their dream is to skate professionally in a show, of course after their amateur skating career comes to an end. But in order to do, as Susan M. mentioned up above, they need to be "good enough", and that means results. Namely a National Title, World Medal, GP medal, 4CC Medal, and if extremely lucky an Olympic Medal. :cool:

Still, in this day & age I doubt any skater (except an Olympic Medalist) will ever be able to pay their parents' back and live well off skating, though landing a permanent part in a skating show/tour isn't bad either, at least it will allow the skater(s) to make a living off what they love to do, the best of both worlds! :hat1:

Sylvia
01-13-2013, 04:40 AM
I compiled a list of ISU prize money amounts in this GSD thread about funding (note: I believe prize money is taxed depending on the country that hosts the competition; also "The ISU Member of skaters who have been awarded prize money may retain a maximum of 10 %" - AFAIK the USFS doesn't take a cut: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?83627-Funding-of-international-skaters-federation-gov-t-private-other-support-amp-prize

HVS
01-18-2013, 07:48 AM
I'd say "extremely small", as in maybe a handful, but I think there probably are a couple dozen or more who earn enough to cover their current skating and living expenses, between prize money, show/tour earnings, corporate sponsors, and whatever they get from their federations.

For example, skaters who made the GP finals probably earned a minimum of $30,000 in GP prize money. ($61,000 could be won if a skater wins their 2 events plus the Finals. For pairs & dance, the prize money is shared by the couple.) Last year's World Champions won $45,000 ($67,500 for pairs & dance). The 10th place finishers got $3,000 and $4,500. Prize money is also available for Europeans and 4CC for skaters who place top 12 ($20K -$1K for singles).

So, if a single skater won everything available, they'd be looking at $126,000 between those events. That sounds like a lot, but as mentioned above, they need to cover coaches travel & fees, rink fees (unless they have some sort of deal), off ice training expenses, plus living expenses. So, additional revenue from shows and tours really make the difference for even the top skaters. Obviously, skaters not good enough to get show or tour engagements won't see any profit and depend on part-time jobs, subsidies of their federations, families, and/or sponsors.

If any skater can win every competetion like you said, they have to win OM and obviously will have a dozen sponsors :lol:

Well, so I guess Yuna Kim is really exceptional case I have ever seen. Last year she still earned about $7 million without any competition :eek: And around 2010 Olympic, she had earned $10 million :cool:

TheIronLady
01-18-2013, 09:40 AM
At international competitions the skaters pays for the coaches expenses as well!

Are any of the coaches just ridiculous spendthrifts who order room service and martinis 10 times a day and make the skater pay their bill?

rayhaneh
01-18-2013, 10:59 AM
Japanese skaters do benefit from having a lot of shows at home, but besides Mao and Daisuke who have done advertisements etc., I don't think they make that much money. Elite skaters receive funding from the japanese skating federation and have plenty of sponsors, though. Kanako has thirty companies supporting her, one of Kozuka's main sponsors is Toyota, and Akiko works for Toho Real Estate that has its own skating rink and supports her. As far as I know, Hanyu doesn't have any sponsors.


Yuzuru Hanyu has just signed on the marketing scheme with the Japanese Olympic Committee, which selects a small number (they were 13 signed up in 2012) of athletes to be "JOC Symbol Athletes": this means that they are paid a given amount every year and in exchange, the JOC sponsors can use their image for free

Daisuke Takahashi and Mao Asada are also JOC athletes (Takahashi since 2007, Asada since 2009 - there are other skaters, like Miki Ando and Shizuka Arakawa who also were JOC athletes before). They are paid 10 to 20 million yen per year - which must be roughly $120,000 to $250,000 per year (I think both Takahashi and Asada are getting close to 20 million yen)

As far as other sponsorships go, I don't think anyone else in Japan is anywhere close to Mao Asada (there are at least two or three ads on TV with her for different companies at any given time and she even developped her own brand of kimonos) and while I don't think she makes as much as Yu-na Kim, all the figures I've seen floating around is that she earns more than a million USD a year. I would guess Daisuke Takahashi comes second but I don't have a clue as far as numbers go, apart from the JOC deal. I know he's one of the faces of Puma Japan and has a deal with Kinoshita so I don't think he's doing too badly though ;)

lala
01-18-2013, 04:57 PM
It's an interesting thread. I think in Canada and in US the FS is a very expensive sport, the skaters come from the middle-class or gentility. Right? But I always thought, if anybody performs in shows he earned enough money for his life. Isn't true? BUt I know Weir is a famous star, but he hadn't enough money for his preparation.....

gkelly
01-18-2013, 05:05 PM
It's an interesting thread. I think in Canada and in US the FS is a very expensive sport, the skaters come from the middle-class or gentility. Right?

Pretty much, yes.


But I always thought, if anybody performs in shows he earned enough money for his life. Isn't true?

Depends on the shows -- how much they pay, how many shows the skater does. There aren't many big for-profit shows that pay large fees to the skaters; there were more in the 1990s. Some old-style ice shows pay little to non-star ensemble skaters and not even all that much to headliners. Benefit shows often just pay the skaters' expenses and the skaters donate their time.

Zemgirl
01-18-2013, 05:05 PM
It's an interesting thread. I think in Canada and in US the FS is a very expensive sport, the skaters come from the middle-class or gentility. Right? But I always thought, if anybody performs in shows he earned enough money for his life. Isn't true? BUt I know Weir is a famous star, but he hadn't enough money for his preparation.....
He had more than enough money for designer clothes and accessories (probably for his dog, too). It's all a matter of priorities; while most skaters do struggle to break even, it is possible to earn a decent amount of money at the highest levels of the sport. Brian Joubert own a house, Evan Lysacek has property as well, a lot of skaters are attending university and presumably not all of them are on scholarship/tuition free, and skaters seem pretty well-dressed in banquet pics.

As for socio-economic background, I assume most skaters are from middle-upper middle class families, at least in NA. But not necessarily everyone.

lala
01-18-2013, 05:27 PM
He had more than enough money for designer clothes and accessories (probably for his dog, too). It's all a matter of priorities; while most skaters do struggle to break even, it is possible to earn a decent amount of money at the highest levels of the sport. Brian Joubert own a house, Evan Lysacek has property as well, a lot of skaters are attending university and presumably not all of them are on scholarship/tuition free, and skaters seem pretty well-dressed in banquet pics.

As for socio-economic background, I assume most skaters are from middle-upper middle class families, at least in NA. But not necessarily everyone.

Thanks for the infos. I know Adam Rippon grew up in a big family, I think they aren't too rich.
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I think Plushenko is one of the highest earning skaters, for the last three years, he earned $ 4,5 million ( by Russian Forbes Magazine).

GoGreen
01-19-2013, 03:37 AM
Thanks for the infos. I know Adam Rippon grew up in a big family, I think they aren't too rich.
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I think Plushenko is one of the highest earning skaters, for the last three years, he earned $ 4,5 million ( by Russian Forbes Magazine).

Is Mercedes-Benz sponsoring him?

ISU is not doing its job to make the sport more popular with the audience, and that really hurts skaters' bottom lines.

jjane45
01-19-2013, 03:47 AM
As far as I know, Hanyu doesn't have any sponsors.

So happy for Hanyu with the JOC sponsorship - training expenses and tuition at prestigious private university and change!! :happydance:

lala
01-19-2013, 04:16 PM
Is Mercedes-Benz sponsoring him?

ISU is not doing its job to make the sport more popular with the audience, and that really hurts skaters' bottom lines.

Probably, Plushy wearings the Mercedes logo with Bingo Boom, Odri and Ulysse Nardin logos. He has Russian (lottery Bingo Boom-official sponsor, the new commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QigMQ9Vh668 cute) sponsor and and foreign alike: ODRI is Italian firm and the traditionally Swiss Ulysse Nardine watchmaker. Plush has own watch "Champion's Diver Plushenko" limited edition, cca 11.000$ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fvj_7HJVmRA)

crzesk8dad
01-19-2013, 05:11 PM
No, they don't have to stay at the official hotel and many don't to save money. They also will bunk up to save money and some coaches will share with their skaters so their skaters can save money. [This is US Nationals. I can't speak for other countries.]

MacM is exactly correct. The skater pays all expenses at US Nationals.

As a skating parent, I can tell skaters don't do this isn't done to make money. Those days are long behind us.

As a person heavily involved in skating, I can also state that many skaters (and their families) pay out much more than they ever bring in from competition winnings (if they are fortunate enough to go to a comp that does pay winnings..ISU GP), gifts, sponsorships, shows, etc.

Michelle, Michael, Evan, others they are the 1%, the exception to the norm. Mom and Dad usually foot the bill for some time. My skater coaches several young skaters and he is, now, paying most of the bill.

But occasionally, "Bank of Mom and Dad" has to help out. In the long run, I wouldn't have it any other way.... :-)