RIO 2016 and Trademarks


The Rio Olympics, 2016 are in full swing and this news might serve as a warning to large number of brands throughout the globe. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) have warned both the athletes and the businesses who are not official sponsors of the Olympics, against using the Olympic trademarks in their marketing campaigns or on any other kind of forums, particularly social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

This might be understood as a step taken by the IOC and USOC to strengthen the Olympic brand. In order to increase the value of its brand, both the above mentioned organizations have planned  to challenge any kind of commercial activity in the future which involves the use of the Olympic trademark including the word, logo, phrases or any other kind of images associated with the Olympics. This ensures that any commercial entity which uses Olympics Intellectual Property will now have to seek official permission before using them.

Currently there are plenty of websites which updates us about all the ongoing events, including the Olympics. However, it is important to note that these websites are also facing the ire of these two organizations. According to many websites, they have completely stopped delivering any news regarding the Olympics after this crackdown. Even words and phrases like Rio 2016 and Road to Rio, which we might have heard or seen during the recent Olympics, are now forbidden unless you have got the proper license for the same. These words cannot be used now even with hash tags on social media forums like Facebook and Twitter. These rules are going to create a huge impact on the social media and the marketing world.

One would wonder if these rules can really be enforced or not. It is to be noted that these rules have been in existence for quite some time but have not been implemented yet. However, taking into consideration the power of the IOC and USOC, it would not be wrong to assume that they might prefer countries to host the Olympics, who strictly adhere to these rules and regulations. The rules are not to be considered strict, as the mainstream news channels would be allowed to use these words and phrases in relation to Olympics. It would only be clear in the times to come how these rules are going to affect the whole marketing scenario, if enforced.

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Authored By – Nikhil Kumar

Image Source/ Attribution here, Governed BY Creative Commons License CC0 1.0