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Prevent any Olympic email marketing mishaps

March 22, 2012

Tempted to use the London Olympic Games as a hook for your upcoming email marketing campaigns? I recommend treading very carefully indeed. Make sure your email doesn’t breach the strict Olympic Games branding guidelines to avoid any potential marketing mishaps.

The Olympic Games are one of the most effective international marketing platforms in the world, reaching billions of people in over 200 countries and territories throughout the world. For the lucky sponsors it will bring great kudos as well as a revenue stream, maximum exposure and unlimited opportunities.

But a small number of others will wish to seize this opportunity to maximize the benefit for their own business. These people should be very cautious and tread carefully, as the rules and guidelines around any Olympic associated marketing are extremely strict.

1.       Don’t use Olympic symbols or logos

It might be tempting to put some Olympic rings on your July newsletter header just to fill the space, like you might add hearts to a February valentines promotion, but don’t! Unless you are a sponsor and have permission from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), the British Olympic Association (BOA) or the British Paralympic Association (BPA) do not use the five Olympic rings or any associated logos
Be careful of using any of the below –

  • Words such as: “Olympic(s), Olympian(s), Olympiad(s) Paralympic(s), Paralympian(s), Paralympiad(s)” 
  • Symbols: the five Olympic rings or the Paralympic logo
  • Or the mottos: Faster, Higher, Stronger; Citius, Altius, Fortuis; and Spirit in Motion

2.       Don’t be tempted to see how far you can push the rules

You might think you can get around the rules by designing and creating your own Olympic logos, but if it implies any sort of connection or association with the games, even if you own the copyright, you could be at risk. Tread very carefully.

3.       Don’t use tickets as event prizes

Unless you are an official sponsor, the practice of giving away tickets will be frowned upon, no matter how you have acquired them.

4.       Assign someone in your business to act as gatekeeper

Make sure that any email marketing messages leaving your business are sensed checked for liability. The Olympics only happen once every 4 years, and once in a lifetime in your own country. It’s a small and important task, but worth every second of time if it prevents you from becoming liable. Ultimately the buck stops with directors and managers who are responsible for the marketing.

5.       There will be people who are quite simply not interested

This may be the most important rule to remember. There will be a flurry of campaigns devoted to the events particularly from sponsors and others trying to benefit from the exposure. But what about those people who are sick of hearing just the word ‘Olympic’? This is a perfect opportunity to produce something different and exciting that captures the imagination, without even a mention of the O word.
For more information about the Olympice marketing guidelines please read this - http://www.london2012.com/about-us/our-brand/frequently-asked-questions.php

Posted by Jenni Malley
Writing copy

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