Sports Marketers Hope for Olympic Committee Reversal on Social Media
By Matt Kapko, ClickZ
In the world of sports, fans and athletes willingly or unknowingly accept the fact that advertising and major marketing campaigns are part of the game. The Olympic Games, albeit a unique sporting spectacle with unmatched reach and interest, is no different.
But this year's competition has left many Olympians feeling muzzled by the International Olympic Committee's Rule 40, which prohibits athletes from appearing in advertising or mentioning sponsors on social media outlets during a 29-day period that includes the official 17 days of the Olympics.
The major sticking point for most amateur athletes is that this rule and other IOC guidelines extend to social media, meaning they can't tweet, post or blog for any marketing or advertising purpose.
"Almost none of them make money and now they can't even promote their sponsors," said Eric Johnson, founder and president of Ignited, a Los Angeles-based agency. "I can completely understand why they have a beef. If someone paid an athlete's bills for the last five years, can't they just tweet about it?"