Norwegian chess champion Magnus Carlsen is about to head for India to prepare for the World Championships in November, but not without lots of help. In addition to dietary assistance, Carlsen has pocketed new sponsorship that can earn him another NOK 6 million this year alone.
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that Carlsen paid a call on technology company Nordic Semiconductor in Oslo’s Skøyen district on Monday, which is one of his newest sponsors. They join the law firm Simonsen, Arctic Securities, newspaper VG and Parallels in backing Carlsen financially while he serves as a promoter and door-opener for them.
Asked by a Nordic Semiconductor employee whether he fears any tummy trouble while in India, Carlsen replied that “we’re taking all our own food and our own chef.” Neither he nor his manager were happy that the World Championships will be held in India, homeland of the reigning World Champ Viswanathan Anand, but they’re making the best out of the upcoming trip to Chennai.
If Carlsen wins the championship match in November, he can expect NOK 9 million in prize money. In addition, reported DN, comes around NOK 6 million in sponsor income along with other income. DN said Carlsen, who spent much of the summer training hard physically for the upcoming championships, may earn as much as NOK 20 million this year.
The money is paid into the company Magnuschess, which DN wrote has had revenues of NOK 27 million since 2007. Carlsen’s manager Espen Agdestein takes care of most of the money, Carlsen told DN. “I’m very grateful that I can live off of something that I think is fun,” Carlsen said. “Other than that, I don’t really think so much about it.”
Chess Olympics still looking for sponsors
Organizers of the upcoming Chess Olympics in Tromsø next year, however, haven’t had as much luck in lining up sponsors, according to DN. Now they’re setting their sights on Russian oil companies interested in Norway’s far north.
At a meeting with state officials in Oslo this summer, Børge Robertsen of Sjakk-OL i Tromsø 2014 had to admit that they were behind schedule in lining up the funding needed to enhance the event that will involve chess players from 170 countries in the Arctic city next August. Organizers expect around 3,000 spectators as well, while millions will follow the Chess Olympics over the Internet worldwide.
Carlsen is among the ambassadors for the event which now needs sponsor income to the tune of NOK 16 million. Organizers are hoping to snare Russian oil and gas company Lukoil, which is interested in doing business in Norway and may need to position itself. “And chess has very strong standing in Russia,” Robertsen said.