Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 22, 2012 04:04 PM
The U.S. Olympic team raked in 104 medals in last summer’s London Games, 16 more than its closest competitor, China. The U.S. team also led the medal count at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. So things are on a good path athletically for America.
Obviously, there’s nobody at the United States Olympic Committee who is superstitious and afraid that any change could hurt the team’s performance because when the U.S. Olympic team takes to the slopes and rinks of Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Games, they’ll be wearing a new logo.
The USOC has introduced a new five-ring logo that “now feature the United States flag and the Olympic Rings in the designated IOC colors,” according to a press release.
When tested with consumers this past summer by SRI International, “consumers strongly identified the marks to stand for patriotism, inspiration, leadership and dedication.” What else could the USOC want in a logo?
This is part of a rebranding that’s been going on for two years now. "This redesign of our five-ring logo continues to build our framework for a consistent look and feel for all USOC assets as well as our desire to work collaboratively with the IOC,” said USOC Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Baird. “Additionally, since the American flag is the most recognized symbol of our country, putting it at the center of our marks signifies the importance of identifying with the history, spirit and symbolism of our country."
That’s all well and good, Baird, but can it finally bring curling gold to America? We’ll have to wait till 2014 to find out.
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 18, 2012 06:32 PM
This will be the most broadcasted, most publicized, most branded, and most ballyhooed Olympics ever. Just when you don’t think stakes can go higher, they somehow suddenly do.
Athletes Must Now Stop Promoting Themselves
Wednesday marks the day when all self-promotion by Olympic athletes has been ordered to stop. No more gear sold with their names on it. No more ads featuring their faces to run — unless of course it is for a brand that has paid out the big bucks to officially align itself with the Games. The moratorium will last till Aug. 15, three days after the end of the Games. As NPR points out, "To understand what this means, consider Michael Phelps: Subway has long sponsored the Olympic swimmer, but it's not an Olympic sponsor. That means no Subway ads featuring Phelps can air between July 18 and Aug. 15. But this Head & Shoulders commercial of Phelps washing his hair is fine — Head & Shoulders is owned by Procter & Gamble, which is an Olympic sponsor." Blame the IOC and London 2012 organizing committee's drive to protect official sponsors from non-sponsors piggybacking on their efforts. “Ambush marketing seems to be an issue that continues to rear its head in every Games,” said Lisa Baird, the USOC’s chief marketing officer, according to the Washington Post. “There are ambush marketers out there that want to imply an association with the Olympics. They’ll take terminology; imagery, and they will get very close or crossing the line to really imply that they are a sponsor. That hurts us.” That hurts all of us, Lisa.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 16, 2012 10:18 AM
Since it was revealed the Ralph Lauren-designed opening ceremony uniforms for the US Olympic team were made in China, a member of Congress has openly suggested burning them, a move some outraged Americans immediately endorsed — it didn't take long for a "Burn the New USA Olympic Uniforms" Facebook page to pop up, naturally.
According to one estimate, USOC's outsourcing of Team USA's apparel manufacturing to China cost the U.S. about $1 billion. While others have come to the Team USA's defense of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and Team USA, the Christian Science Monitor argued against corporate panhandling altogether. "While China is harvesting farm girls from remote provinces to be canoeists, gymnasts, and weightlifters — training them in state-owned facilities and paying top dollar to lure top coaches — the USOC is panhandling on the doorstep of corporate America."
Ralph Lauren, which prides itself on being an All-American brand, is smarting from the outcry. Its namesake founder has vowed that the brand will produce the 2014 Winter Olympics Team USA apparel in the U.S., according to a statement released Friday that was backed up by USOC:Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 28, 2012 05:05 PM
“Gold, silver, what’s the difference? One centimeter after a kilometer of competition,” says Dr. Bill Moreau, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) managing director of sports medicine, in the video above. “Our job is to help that athlete to find that last little piece that makes them the best in the world.”
Team USA is taking no chances preparing for the looming 2012 Olympics. The USOC will be using electronic medical files for the first time with help from GE to digitize records for the more than 700 athletes heading to London for the Summer Games.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 11, 2012 03:12 PM
While the NBA experiments with sponsorship of jerseys in its D-League playoffs and NASCAR drivers walk around with so many advertisements on their jumpsuits that it’s hard to remember exactly who is aligned with what, it is much harder for athletes for lower-profile sports to drum up those kinds of sponsorship dollars.
However, two U.S. national-team runners are finding ways to earn a few extra dollars in innovative ways. Steeplechase runner Anthony Famiglietti has started to sell off real estate on his racing jersey so that he can have extra cash for travel and training, NPR reports. His endorsement deal with a shoe company got pulled when the arthritis in his foot kept him from wearing their shoes anymore.
“If the shoes don't fit, there's really nothing you can do,” Famiglietti told NPR. “There's only one shoe that I can wear, of the thousands of shoes on the market. And trust me, I've tried everything. Zappos probably hates me.”Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 6, 2012 09:59 AM
Big-name fashion designers are flocking to the Olympics this summer, with host country talent Stella McCartney leading the way, in partnership with Adidas, as the chief designer for the United Kingdom’s squad. There have been a few naysayers to McCartney’s designs, but fashion designers have got to be pretty used to that by the time they hit the big-time.
Now word comes, via the Telegraph, that Prada is getting into the Olympics gear, designing uniforms for Italy’s Olympic and Paralympic sailing teams.Continue reading...
and now, a word from our sponsor
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 8, 2011 12:07 PM
In the months leading up to this fall’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, there was much ado about the unauthorized piggyback practice of ambush marketing by non-sponsors.
New regulations and practices were put in place to be sure that any brand that hadn’t paid a massive chunk to sponsor the matches found even the teensiest way to affiliate itself with the event. The preparation for such a possible catastrophe seemed to put ambush marketing on par with terrorism.
Other than a bunch of scantily clad gals in stilettos handing out flyers for a strip club after one particular match, the RWC went ambush-free.
Now a much bigger event is coming, next year’s Summer Olympics in London (which organizers refuse to identify with its XXX Roman numerals, for some reason), and nobody wants any big-spending sponsors to be outdone by some fancy bit of ambush marketing.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on July 28, 2011 05:00 PM
As London's Olympics organizers celebrate the one-year countdown to the 2012 Summer Games, BMW has embarked on one of the most extensive and important sponsorships of an Olympic team in the history of the movement.
But the German luxury automaker isn’t backing young swimmers or milers from Deutschland — it has become the sole premium automotive sponsor of Team USA for the 2012 Summer Olympics as part of a six-year overall sponsorship deal with the team.
The brand is also the official automotive partner overall for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the official mobility sponsor, with an Olympics bike as part of its 2012 fleet.Continue reading...