POSTED: January 27th 2010

USOC getting tough on ambush marketing to protect the Olympic marks

USOC encourages the sale of only their official merchandise to support the USA Team / Image: TeamFanShop
USOC encourages the sale of only their official merchandise to support the USA Team / Image: TeamFanShop

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA, Jan 27: The USOC is cracking down on ambush marketing in the United States with any US businesses crossing the lines with the Olympic marks.

Businesses sometimes seek to associate themselves with the Olympic brand to allude to a relationship with the national governing body for Olympic sport. The USOC issued a statement today that they would be carefully policing the Olympic branding to safeguard against misuse.

Apart from the USOC only its official partners, sponsors and suppliers have been granted the use of the marks by paying a premium and offering substantial value in kind services.

The US elite level sport system relies solely on its own funding and also receives no government support.

Gerhard Heiberg, head of the IOC Marketing Commission says, "The IOC and its partners in the Olympic Movement take the threat of ambush marketing very seriously. We want to protect the integrity of the Olympic rings, the Olympic values and the future viability of the Olympic Games.

Corporate sponsorship provides essential support for competing athletes and contributes to the overall success of the Games. Put simply, without the support of our official commercial partners, the Games would not be able to happen."

He continued: "Ultimately, companies which try to create the false impression that they are an official partner of the Olympic Games, or create a false association with the Olympic Games, are cheating Olympic athletes, Olympic Games' organisers and Olympic fans. It is important that the public is made aware of these organizations and how they are depriving the Olympic Games and sport development around the world of essential support."

US companies such as Coca-Cola, General Electric, Visa, Anheuser-Busch, McDonalds, Acer, Atos Origin, Omega, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Panasonic and AT&T are partners of the USOC. Sponsors are Adecco, 24 hour Fitness, Allstate, Deliotte, the Hilton Worldwide Portfolio of Brands, Jet Set Sports, Nike, Tyson and United Airlines.

NBC is the TV rights holder for the USA and suppliers are Highmark and Oroweat together with a long list of licensees. The USOC will be launching an ad campaign to thank their official partners and sponsors that will begin just prior to the Vancouver Games.

Keywords · USOC · Olympic Marks · IOC · Gerhard Heiberg · Coca-Cola · General Electric · Visa · Anheuser-Busch · McDonalds · Acer · Atos Origin · Omega · Procter & Gamble · Samsung · Panasonic · AT&T

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

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