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Have any questions regarding sponsorships?
Please review the following "Most asked questions", as provided by U.S. Figure Skating

Can a sponsor receive a tax benefit from supporting an athlete(s)?

It depends on whether this is a business or a personal sponsor. If the sponsor is a private person wanting to assist the athlete with his or her expenses, the answer is no. If the sponsor is a business wanting to sponsor the athlete, the answer is yes. Tell the potential sponsor to talk to its accountants to find out the best way for it to handle the sponsorship. One option for a business to get tax benefits from a sponsorship is to use the athlete as an advertisement, since advertising can be a tax write-off for a business. Examples of how to do this are having the athlete carry a duffel bag with the business logo on it, or the athlete can wear a warm-up suit with the logo on it. These are just ideas; the best suggestion is to have the business check with its accountants regarding the specific laws and regulations.

Can the sponsor donate to the Memorial Fund and earmark it for a specific athlete to receive the tax benefits from the Memorial Fund's nonprofit status?

No, you cannot donate to a nonprofit organization and earmark it for a specific person. The business can donate to the Memorial Fund, but the money will be put into a general account and distributed to many U.S. Figure Skating athletes. The same applies when donating to a club with nonprofit status; you can donate to the club but not to a specific athlete. The money will go into the club's general account and be allocated according to the requests of the club's Board of Directors.

How does the athlete accept the sponsor's money?

The athlete may have a "skating account" that the sponsor can write checks to, or it can simply make the check payable to the athlete. This is a decision for the athlete and sponsor.

After a sponsor has been found, when should an athlete worry about retaining his/her eligibility?

If the sponsor asks the athlete to participate in an event that is not sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating, the athlete can still accept the sponsorship but must first complete a form called the Eligible Skater's Compensation Agreement (ESCA). Once this is completed, submitted and approved by the executive director, the athlete's eligibility will be protected. The chart below can help determine when an ESCA is needed.

 Athlete Will Receive CompensationAthlete Will Not Receive Compensation
U.S. Figure Skating-sanctioned Event ESCA NOT needed BUT athlete's name, U.S. Figure Skating number and compensation amount must be attached to the sanction application and submitted to U.S. Figure Skating. ESCA NOT needed but sanction application must be submitted to U.S. Figure Skating by host club
Non-sanctioned Event ESCA must be completed and submitted to U.S. Figure Skating along with the applicable processing fee (See Processing Fee *** for explanation ) ESCA must be completed and submitted to U.S. Figure Skating along with a $10 processing fee
ISI-sanctioned Event
(Ice Skating Institute)
ESCA must be completed and submitted to U.S. Figure Skating along with the applicable processing fee (See Processing Fee *** for explanation ) ESCA NOT needed but athlete's names must be submitted to U.S. Figure Skating if the athlete has skated novice or above for the past two years at U.S. Championships

Does an ESCA need to be approved before an athlete can participate in an event not sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating?

Yes, the completed ESCA must be completed, submitted and approved by the executive director before the athlete can participate.

Are advertisements considered events not sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating?

Yes. When a sponsor asks an athlete for him/her to appear in an advertisement such as brochure or a website, an ESCA must be completed, submitted and approved by the executive director. This also applies to appearances and exhibitions.

Is there a processing fee involved with each ESCA?

Yes. For a skater receiving compensation in a non-sanctioned event, the contractor agrees to pay a nonrefundable processing fee to U.S. Figure Skating equal to 10 percent of the amount of payment to the skater is being compensated or $150, whichever is less. For a skater who does not receive compensation in a non-sanction event, a nonrefundable $10 processing fee must be submitted with the draft ESCA to help cover administrative expenses. The processing fee must be received by U.S. Figure Skating before it will consider whether or not to approve the ESCA. Payment can be sent via check or credit card to U.S. Figure Skating.

How will I know that my ESCA has been approved?

After the ESCA has been approved, the skater and contractor will receive a special approval e-mail along with an attachment of the ESCA approval sheet



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