Emily Goddard
David Owen ITGIt was a typically business-like declaration, made not in the hallowed chambers of the Sorbonne in Paris, but with a two-page media release at the start of the New York trading day.

Richard Carrión, Puerto Rican chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s Finance Commission is to run for the IOC Presidency.

Neither the media release, nor an exclusive telephone interview with insidethegames left room for any doubt that this was a businessman or that we were talking about a multibillion dollar business, albeit a very special one.

We spoke the language of efficiency and effectiveness, of leveraging resources and spreading best practice.

Sentence two of the release included the information that: "Carrión has headed negotiations of Olympic TV broadcast rights for the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia that aggregate to more than $8 billion (£5 billion/€6 billion) in funding revenues for the Olympic Movement."

Richard Carrión is hoping to replace IOC President Jacques RoggeRichard Carrión (left) is hoping to replace IOC President Jacques Rogge (right)

But the 60-year-old banker also sounded a strong cautionary note, just in case anyone should be thinking that the Movement's staggering renaissance over recent decades might have made its continued success inevitable.

"I think the IOC/Olympic Movement is in great standing," he told me, in one of those statements you just know will be followed by a "but" or similar qualification.

However: "I think when things are going great is the moment to take a look.

"This great position we have is not guaranteed...

"We have to be aware the world is going to change.

"We have to make that change work for the IOC, for the betterment of the Olympic Movement.

"We have to be ahead of the curve here or we will become less relevant to the youth of today."

Having participated in so many negotiations, Carrión is acutely aware that one of the biggest uncertainties is the nature of future media innovation – something the IOC simply has to call right, given the huge slice of the Movement's income attributable to the sale of broadcasting rights.

Richard Carrión 220513Richard Carrión warned that the IOC's "great position is not guaranteed"

"Clearly the world of media is changing very quickly," he said, describing the various devices his son has on the go when they watch a televised basketball match together.

As he acknowledges, the direction of the evolution might end up channelling even more millions in the direction of sports event owners, but – and it is a big "but": "The digital revenue model is unclear...

"If more and more people are consuming on a digital platform, it is unclear that the advertisers will continue to pay for the broadcast."

Carrión lists four further threats or challenges confronting the Movement.

● Deep economic and fiscal strains in many countries which could impact negatively on sport;

● the increasing complexity of staging the Games and the impact this might have on future bidders;

● the rise of illegal betting on sports; and

● the growing rate of inactivity and obesity among young people.

He puts forward a number of ideas for addressing some of these challenges.

The Movement's United Nations observer status could pave the way, along with new partnerships with non-governmental organisations, he argues, for the IOC to achieve a range of sports development objectives.

"Our projects should have long-term strategies and be result-oriented," he said.

sports education and development programmesRichard Carrión would like to see more funds being used for sports education and development programmes

He would also like to see a new special fund created, complementary to Olympic Solidarity, to be used for sports education and development programmes.

He is keen for the Movement to play a role in the sharing of best practice on ways of combating obesity and getting kids active.

"I think we have to use the talent we have both in-house and in our membership to try to produce templates that will serve for communities to activate their youth," he told me.

He would like to consider bringing more functions relating to the organisation of a Games in-house.

In particular, he feels, there could be an argument for keeping a small corps of key people on the ground with the host city as it goes through the seven-year process of preparing for a Games.

This would be in addition to the regular visits effected by the relevant Coordination Commission.

He emphasised, however, that he was not "advocating bloating the management structure.

"I am advocating looking at things where we spend a lot of money and asking, 'Can we do this more efficiently?'

He did not use the expression himself, but he also left me with the clear impression he would like to sweat the Movement's very considerable assets rather more.

"We need to be more efficient and leverage the resources we have," he told me.

IOC Executive Board 220513Richard Carrión says he will encourage more "active participation" from IOC members

Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) has what he termed "a treasure trove of images" that could be put to more intensive use.

He would also like to see "an even more active participation" from IOC members themselves.

"If you look at the membership, we have some extraordinary people there," he told me.

"I don't know of any organisation in the world that has that level of people.

"They are important within their countries and many are well-known outside them.

"I think we need to get more counsel from these people.

"I think we have this enormous asset.

"I just have an aversion to having an asset and not using it...

"People who are IOC members have a passion for this.

"They are drawn to this because they have a passion for sport."

Carrión said he had an open mind on the question of whether member visits to bidding cities should be reinstated – "but it is definitely not at the top of my agenda".

David Owen worked for 20 years for the Financial Times in the United States, Canada, France and the UK. He ended his FT career as sports editor after the 2006 World Cup and is now freelancing, including covering the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2010 World Cup and London 2012. Owen's Twitter feed can be accessed here.