US: Marketing rules loosen for Olympic athletes

After the Olympic Committee’s relaxation of the restrictions placed on Olympic participants earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported that on Tuesday, October 8, US Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has decided to allow athletes to thank their personal sponsors and accept public congratulations from those brands as well as allow personal sponsors to be able to run generic ads during the Olympics.

Han Xiao, chair of the USOPC’s Athletes’ Advisory Council, called the changes “a really positive step for athlete marketing rights.” He said the USOPC’s guidance “enables athlete opportunities in an entirely new way and is a sign of great progress as we continue to work closely with the USOPC.”

Under the previous rules, for example, US athletes at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics were prohibited from allowing their person, name, picture, or sports performance to be used for advertising during a blackout period, which began more than a week before the Games and ran three days after it.

Under the new guidance, athletes still are subject to some restrictions. They must register their personal sponsors with the USOPC, and those sponsors must agree to a “personal sponsor commitment” that makes their deals contingent on specific anti-ambush terms, according to a USOPC document about the marketing changes.

Personal sponsors can’t use Olympic intellectual property or Games imagery, or imply a relationship between the sponsor and Team USA or the Games, for instance.

Full Content: The Wall Street Journal

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