Olympians resist advertising constraints at Tokyo 2020


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Olympians resist advertising constraints at Tokyo 2020

Unlike her rivals, Malaika Mihambo can promote her sponsor’s products during the Olympics

TOKYO – Malaika mihambo he holds up a plate of vegan food packaged on his Instagram Stories with a “compensated association” tag and a “SummerGames” discount code. She is one of many athletes trying to earn some money through social media.

What distinguishes the charismatic German long jumper, winner of the gold medal in Tokyo, is that you can promote your sponsor’s products during the Olympic Games. Most of his rivals cannot.

Many athletes depend on their sponsors and social media advertising to finance their Olympic dreams, but face severe restrictions during Games. Often companies must be granted permits for their advertisements.

The International Olympic Committee allows athletes a limited number of simple “thank you” to their sponsors from July 13 to August 10, coinciding with the Tokyo Games. The specific amount depends: Americans can post a maximum of seven, no more than one per sponsor. The British, 10. They cannot mention specific products, post video links with their jousting performance or anything with the Olympic rings.

In Germany things are different.

The anti-monopoly agency reached an agreement with the COI and with the German Olympic Committee in 2019 that allows athletes to earn more money coinciding with the Olympic Games. This made possible posts like the ones Mihambo did last week, in the run-up to his Olympic presentation.

She and the other German athletes have no limits to the number of posts and can praise the products of their sponsors. And that’s just the beginning.

“Things are changing. But it takes athletes time to realize that they have more rights, “he said. Max hartung, a German who competed in fencing in Tokyo and who presides over the organization Athleten Deutschland, which defends the interests of athletes.

Hartung He said that, for more than Olympic Games represent their only chance to make themselves known, many German athletes without major sponsors “don’t even bother” to post ads for fear of breaking a rule or to avoid negative repercussions.

Indeed, you have to be careful when exploiting the Olympic moments. A guide prepared for the German team says that athletes cannot include Olympic symbols, uniforms or official hashtags, such as # tokyo2020, in the same post in which they advertise a sponsor. Ads in English, which target a non-German audience, are also prohibited.

The “Rule 40” of the COI that regulates advertising dates back to the days when only amateur athletes participated. The COI it boasts of not having emblems of its sponsors during competitions. It only allows major sponsors to run TV spots that do feature athletes and Olympic logos. Athletes who have agreements with official sponsors can freely post about them.

It is foreseeable that the German model will be disseminated in the future, which supports the idea that the right of athletes to express themselves goes beyond commercial ties.

Some German athletes have promoted certain causes in Tokyo. Gymnasts, for example, wore head-to-toe uniforms in a protest against the “sexualization” of sport. The captain of the field hockey team Nike Lorenz he wears tights with the rainbow, a gay symbol.


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