The governing bodies of six sports in the UK have heard this week that they will receive more funding to support athletes in preparation for London 2012.
The additional resources, which result from better than predicted Lottery sales, will go to hockey, gymnastics, boxing, taekwondo, rowing and canoeing. British athletes in all of these sports have made significant progress in the last two years. There was also a boost for some of the winter sports.
UK Sport, the high performance sports agency which grants Lottery funds to governing bodies, has the objective of maximising British success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The difficulty is that sports which lack resources and profile in the UK are less likely to see good British performances than their better known peers. As a result those who are doing well will have their funding increased while those who really need the help will lose out.
This time round several sports had their grants reduced, including the winter sports of figure skating, skiing and snowboarding.
International sport is a tough, unforgiving environment. With many demands on its resources, UK Sport has to give priority to funding sporting disciplines which offer a realistic chance of medals in the near future. However, the situation is not hopeless: if there are improvements in performance and management the rewards will follow.
Of course sporting success boosts the potential value of sponsorship for athletes and their governing bodies. Unfortunately, quite a few Olympic and Paralympic sports struggle to attract sufficient sponsorship income to make a real difference to their elite training programmes.
Other types of commercial income, such as membership fees, potentially offer a more reliable revenue stream. Dave Edwards from British Ski and Snowboard, speaking to BBC Sport, urged British recreational skiers to sign up for £3 to become members to help replace the Lottery funding that has been lost.
Online tools and payment systems make it easier than before to collect modest sums of money from larger numbers of people. The great marketing challenge for governing bodies is to provide a service which casual fans will pay for, not just the active participants in the sport.
If any of the smaller governing bodies can find a way to earn a few hundred thousand pounds extra to fund elite training, they might just be able to enter the virtuous circle post 2012.