April 20th, 2012
Respecting the need for the Olympic movement to protect the Olympic brand is a Pandora’s box here in T&T as piracy of music, videos, and software etc is part of the value system attitude of our society.
A consequence is that ambush marketing and unauthorised use of the Olympic brand, logos, words etc must be steadfastly policed and monitored. Ambushing marketing and unauthorised association damages the ability of the Olympic movement to succeed in its mission. London 2012 is set to be the biggest Olympics to date. The brand values of the Olympic rings are such that associating with it represents an enormous commercial opportunity. However with no branding allowed inside the Games venues proper activation is essential.
It is estimated that Olympic and Paralympic sponsors may spend as much as two billion pounds on marketing initiatives to activate their London 2012 rights. It is a rule of thumb that activation by sponsors is typically between 100 per cent and 200 per cent of the rights acquisition spend. Companies with global or domestic sponsorship rights to London 2012, it is estimated, have spent more than one billion pounds in cash and value-in-kind goods and services to associate with the Games. Olympic brand protection at London 2012 some have suggested is the most stringent ever seen in the UK. Infringement or unauthorised association is not only a civil grievance but a criminal offence. How stringent will the Olympic Brand protection be in London? A recent article in the UK Guardian revealed that pub landlords will be banned from posting signs reading: “Come and watch the London Games from our big screen!” According to the same article—the organising committee has a social media and blogging policy for athletes; so that they don’t accidentally fall foul of regulations during Games Period—18 July to 15 August—advertising rules ban all non-sponsor endorsements. Attendees at any Olympic venue cannot upload video or audio, which would contravene broadcasters’ rights.Examples of what will be banned during the Games.
Accredited athletes, coaches and officials don’t…
• Blog about your breakfast cereal or energy bar if it’s not an official sponsor—in Games Period all endorsement is banned.
• Post video clips from inside the athletes’ village to your blog or YouTube. No audio or video content from inside any Olympic venue can be uploaded to any site.
• Tweet “in the role of a journalist.” Athletes, coaches and officials “must not report on competition or comment on the activities of other participants.”
Non-sponsor companies and businesses don’t …
• Say “Supporting our athletes at the 2012 Games!” or “Help us make it Gold 2012!”
• Use images that suggest an association with the London Olympics.
•Offer tickets as part of a promotion.
Ticket holders don’t …
• License, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking Web sites and the internet.
• Post your pictures to Facebook –this may fall under the same restriction.
• Take part in individual or group ambush marketing.
The IOC must be alert to ambush marketing, the sale of counterfeit and unofficial goods and other similar activities and unauthorised association with the Games. Baron Pierre de Coubertin may very well be appalled at the marketing approach, mentality and dynamism of the modern Olympic movement. But the protection of the Olympic symbols, the value, integrity and image of the Olympic Games, the respective national teams, London 2012 brand and all other Olympic names, words, mottos logos, designs marks which create a connection with the Olympic Movement and London 2012 is a leadership responsibility, duty and obligation that all national Olympic committees must accept.