The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and america Olympic Committee (USOC) are warning athletes and companies to not use Olympic logos in content material and social media marketing.
The Olympics are a world spectator occasion. Millions, if not billions, of individuals worldwide will comply with the competitors. There is an actual sense through which everybody on the earth has a little bit of possession. But sadly, the IOC and USOC have determined to undertake robust techniques to make Olympic sponsorships extra useful.
Effectively, these organizations have said that they'll pursue business entities that use Olympic mental property and which aren't official Olympic sponsors. The obvious aim is to make sponsoring the Olympics extra priceless, since solely Olympic sponsors will have the ability to use the phrase, “Olympic,” or make use of different Olympic phrases and pictures.
According to an ESPN report, the USOC has already begun to warn some American companies to not publish concerning the Olympics.
How Not to Mention the Olympics
The USOC and IOC appear to be making an attempt to stop any potential use of the Olympics. According to a report on Adweek, entrepreneurs ought to keep away from the next.
- Mentioning Olympic phrases or phrases, like Olympic, Olympian, Paralympic, Rio 2016, Road to Rio, or comparable.
- Incorporating the phrase Olympic into different phrases, so no Matholympics.
- Using any Olympic phrases in hashtags, i.e., #Rio2016, #TeamUSA.
- Employing Olympic imagery, thus no Olympic logos and no pictures taken on the Olympics.
- Naming Olympic athletes, so please don’t point out Michael Phelps on social media. Don’t even want him luck.
- Describing Olympic outcomes, companies can't even say who gained a medal.
How the Olympic Committees Can Stifle Content, Speech
Most companies would agree it is sensible to not use Olympic logos and that sponsors which have paid some huge cash must be protected. But there's a vital distinction between defending a emblem and telling companies they can't point out the phrase “Olympics” or want a favourite athlete good luck on Facebook.
Imagine, for instance, what kind of response you'd get if the National Football League abruptly stated that solely official sponsors might use the phrase “Super Bowl” on social media or in content material marketing?
What can be the response if the NFL despatched a stop-and-desist letter to Martha Stewart for publishing Super Bowl hen wing recipes? How wouldn't it be if the NFL sued an area pizzeria in Seattle for posting #GoSeahawks on Twitter? These issues sound absurd. Nonetheless, that is exactly what the USOC and the IOC are doing.
What’s extra, these Olympic committees can in all probability implement this degree of trademark safety. The IOC requires any nation that desires to host the Olympics to cross particular nationwide trademark legal guidelines that present stronger than typical limitations on using Olympic logos and logos.
The provision that applies in the USA is D.R. Code 36, Subtitle II, Part B Chapter 2205, Subchapter I. This federal regulation permits the USOC to sue companies that use Olympic logos “for the aim of commerce, to induce the sale of any items or providers, or to advertise any theatrical exhibition, athletic efficiency, or competitors.”
This provision has been round for a very long time. The distinction is that beforehand the USOC has not tried to use it to social media or content material advertising on this approach. The backside line now's that companies must be extraordinarily cautious about how they use or point out the Olympics.
Sorry, Bad Advice
For the previous couple of months, I have been advocating that you simply use the Olympics in your content material advertising. In reality, I explicitly talked about it in 4 posts.
- “Using the Olympics for Ecommerce Marketing“
- “5 Content Marketing Ideas for June 2016“
- “5 Content Marketing Ideas for July 2016“
- “H Content Marketing Ideas for August 2016“
In my protection, in every publish I inspired you to abide by trademark legal guidelines and all of those have been revealed earlier than the USOC and the IOC started discouraging social media and content material advertising posts. I believed you possibly can make use of the Olympics in your content material advertising in the identical approach that you simply may make use of the World Cup or the Super Bowl.
Given these new developments and the letters the USOC has despatched to some corporations, it might be greatest to keep away from mentioning the Olympics altogether.
News media and people should point out and use Olympic logos. Thus, this text concerning the Olympic logos is just not an infringement since it's revealed on a media website. But it isn't clear whether or not this actual article, written phrase-for-phrase, can be problematic if it have been revealed on a weblog that belonged to an internet retailer, for instance.