The imminent Olympics presents alluring opportunities for many to profit, however, great care must be taken to ensure compliance with legislation regarding the Olympic brand.
The Olympic movement has been reliant upon the business community to finance the games since its origin. In return, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and National Organising Committees of the Olympic Games (NOCOGS) grant exclusivity of the brand to attract sponsorship packages. If the committees were not diligent about maintaining exclusivity they would not be able to attract the vital investment. Furthermore, uncontrolled use of the Olympic brand could damage the reputation of the games resulting in a loss of prestige.
It has been argued that the laws relating to the 2012 Olympic brand are the most restrictive ever in their scope, consequently there will be swift action including the banning of campaigns, seeking of compensation and court proceedings for non-compliance.
Current laws prevent the use in the course of trade of any Olympic symbols, words or mottos. It is an offence to use the following:
London 2012, LOCOG, Javelin, Team GB, Get Set , Games Maker, Olympic, Olympian, Olympiad, Paralympic, Paralympian, Paralympiad plus their plurals, translations and any synonyms.
Any two of these words: Games, Two Thousand and Twelve, 2012, Twenty-Twelve
OR any word in the list above when paired with: London, medals, sponsors, summer, gold, silver or bronze.
“Citius, Altius, Fortius” or “Faster, Higher, Stronger”.
The preceding list is not exhaustive and all should be aware that an association can be created by the use of, for example, the torch or flame, use of Olympic colours or images of Olympic venues.
Our advice is to:
- Make no reference to the Olympic Games in marketing material
- Display union jacks rather than Olympic logos
- Sell genuine merchandise
- Use general sporting terms and imagery
Above all do not do anything that may cause an individual to believe there is a link between you and the Olympics. If in doubt - seek legal advice.