Ten ways brands are saying Olympics without saying “Olympics”: How to free ride the games vibe without stepping on any toes
If you are a fan of our monthly newsletter or just a casual enthusiast, you probably know that we led our most recent August edition with the do’s and don’ts for brands that want to free ride the social media wave during the Rio 2016 Olympics. Well, despite a boatload of copyright restrictions from the IOC and their paid sponsors when it comes to mentioning your brand alongside anything Olympics related, some clever companies are still jumping onboard, making waves and avoiding the long arm of the intellectual property law. It’s living proof that the iconic nature of the games gives you the ability to conjure associations using all sorts of ideas that aren’t trademarked and do not require a logo. You need to think on the fly. It’s a little bit like Pictionary. But as we all know, sometimes finding the simplest way to get the idea across can be the hardest thing to do of all. Except for us—we were #phelpsface-ing it up before it was even cool. Although, truth be told, it might have been all of the early Spring road construction projects around here.
Read the full article on Adweek here
The 2016 Olympics in Rio are shaping up like a steamy jungle adventure. Here at Spyglass, we feel like a bunch of Indiana Joneses ready to chop through the dense vegetation of negative media hype, hoping for a little less focus on mosquitos, banditos and leaky-pipe-oritos—and more magic moments of culture and competition. If your brand is thinking about jumping on the social media bandwagon during the games, you’ll need to know the dos and don’ts of Olympic tweeting. NBC spent almost $1.3 billion for the rights to air the event, and reports say NBCUniversal believes it will sell well over $1 billion in advertising for its telecast. It’s no surprise that those brands, including the Olympic brand itself, are drawing a legal line in the sand to keep unpaid social media interlopers off their paid media turf. But if you play your cards right, you’ve still got a chip, a chair and a chance to make your mark.
Here’s how to stay out of hot water on social media and develop a gold medal strategy for riding the social waves.
Rule 40: Why some sponsors who help foot the bill for Olympians have to go quiet during the Olympics
Never knew this. Only the Official Sponsors get the limelight for the duration of the games. It’s called “Rule 40” and it forbids athletes from promoting many of the brands that got them there. For Shaun White that means no logos for Target, Oakley or Red Bull. Not only that, these sponsors can’t use him, or any other Olympic athlete, in their advertising while the Olympics are in play. That also means Pepsi is a no show in Sochi, because Coca Cola is the official sponsor. Only Visa cards work at ATMs. And no Nike or Head branding for Bode Miller. When it comes to branding, the IOC rules with an iron fist. Even an athlete’s face has to be blurred on any website of a non-official sponsor during the games. It’s crazy brand control that the athletes and brands follow to the letter. Wow. One tight ship that leaves athletes with tight lips when it comes to calling out their non-official brand benefactors.
Also, a quick list of Olympic athletes that reap the most from their Olympic sponsors. Note: this does not include professional hockey players on Team USA.