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London 2012 – Marketing and Image Rights

The Olympics will be coming to town almost a year from now, one of the world’s biggest shows, with revenues to match.  The final announcements for the first round of ticket allocations is almost complete.  The reported odds for getting a ticket for the 100m final are 25/1 with almost 1m applications allegedly made in the UK alone. With all this at the forefront of public discussion, behind the scenes one of the question many UK businesses will be asking themselves is how they can benefit and muscle in on the party.

The Olympic brand is one of the most guarded in the world.  In addition to existing protection that the Olympic symbols enjoy, a new Act of Parliament was passed as part of the conditions of holding the games, preventing a business creating any association between themselves and the event without the organisers consent. A few brands have paid considerable sums for official sponsorship status, something it is expected will be rigorously protected by the LOGOC.

There will be many ways that businesses can join in the celebrations during 2012, but understanding where the line has been drawn is something that marketers should be serious about.

A good source of information on what you can or cannot say or do in respect of the games is available on the London 2012 website.  The Frequently Asked Questions section gives a quick insight into the main rules but more detailed explanation can be found in the Brand Protection pdf.

The diversity of the brand protection even spreads to Conferences taking place in the UK before or during the games.  Organisers will need to be careful not to link their event with the London Games.  This 2012 advice document for Conferences and Events gives specific advice for the events industry.

The next 12 months is sure to be an exciting time for athletes and fans alike.  How official partners and other businesses turn the games into there own commercial success story will be an interesting story and like the games, there are bound to be winners and losers.

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