London 2012 Watch: On Your Trademarks, Get Set…

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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.[more]

Cadillac Aiming to Score Younger Buyers During Olympics

The idea of driving a Cadillac once raised the image of an older, stuffy fellow behind the wheel, but the GM brand is aiming to get some younger eyeballs onto its 2013 ATS during the Olympics so it can fight off its main competition, the BMW 3 Series. According to Bloomberg, the new Cadillac campaign “will include more than 40 ads and online videos and was filmed in Monaco, Morocco, China and Chile.” The hope is to sell more than 50,000 of the autos annually, and the Summer Olympics are the main platform for the global campaign. “The films demonstrate the performance of the new ATS on a world stage, making it a natural fit for the Olympics,” Cadillac marketing VP Don Butler stated in a press release.

Tripping the Light Fantastic

The world keeps getting greener and London is hoping to show itself off as a city that is fully immersed in the energy-efficient movement. A temporary footbridge at West Ham station has installed tiles made by Pavegen Systems that use the energy generated by the foot traffic to power the lights on the bridge. While Treehugger.com notes that the whole thing isn’t exactly the most energy-efficient outfit of all time, it definitely has a wow factor that could affect the thinking of those who see the bridge in action. Going green doesn’t have to be dull.

Nationwide Ensuring Eyeballs With Biggest Ad Campaign Ever During the Olympics

America’s Nationwide Mutual Insurance used to have the “World’s Greatest Spokesperson in the World” to help sell it to consumers, but it may have one-upped itself. Its next spokesperson is Julia Roberts. While she likely won’t be falling out of windows or down mountains like her predecessor, Roberts will be laying her dulcet tones down behind Nationwide’s largest advertising campaign ever, which will kick off during the Olympics. The plan is be less ridiculous than the campaigns run by competitors. “That’s why we’re going against the grain in the marketplace by taking a more sincere tone,” said Matt Jauchius, the company’s chief marketing and strategy officer, according to Business Insider. “Our campaign is a way for us to evolve what is happening in the insurance category in advertising.”

Team Philippines Going Old School With Uniform

While the US team will suiting up in berets and blazers (made in China) for the Opening Ceremonies, the nine-athlete Philippines team is getting ready to go with an old-school traditional outfit of the barong Tagalog, “an embroidered formal shirt, typically worn untucked, which is commonly used at Philippine ceremonial events,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “I want to pay great respect to the tradition of the garment,” said Rajo Laurel, a top designer in Manila and a judge on “Project Runway Philippines. ”I’m just going to give it a more tapered fit, a slightly cropped length and small fabrication changes.”

UPS Hoping Olympic Freight Will Help Its Finances

When the Olympic Games and Paralympics roll around, there are lots of odd objects that need to be shipped: javelins, sailboats, and lots of specialty gear for Paralympians. UPS “will shift more than 30 million items as part of its contract” with the Games, according to Bloomberg, while it also “is courting investors to consolidate its position in Europe with a $6.3 billion purchase of Dutch carrier TNT Express NV.” If that deal goes through, UPS will suddenly be on par with the market leader, Deutsche Post AG. “Europe won’t be in recession forever,” Helane Becker, an analyst at Dahlman Rose & Co. in New York told BusinessWeek. “These problems will eventually get sorted out and UPS will be there.” That’s what the javelin throwers are hoping for their javelins as well.

Britain Bringing In The Troops

For all those folks planning to visit the Olympics who were starting to worry when they heard that the security company contracted for the event couldn’t provide the needed number of bodies, have no fear! The British defense ministry “called up an extra 3,500 troops – many just back from serving in Afghanistan – to take the armed forces contribution to 17,000 personnel,” according to Reuters. And there are more troops that could get involved if needed, the government promises. So travel on!

BBC Can’t Get Enough Olympics

Even before the BBC got to see how its broadcasts go this summer from London, the media giant decided to move ahead sign a deal with the International Olympic Committee to broadcast the next four Olympic Games. So be looking for the Brits at Sochi 2014, Rio 2016, Pyeongchang 2018 as well as the 2020 Games, which do not have a set location yet. “This news will come as a massive boost to our teams who are about to undertake our most ambitious sports broadcast ever at the biggest sporting event in our country’s history,” stated Barbara Slater, Director, BBC Sport. “The Olympic Games has always been significant as an event that brings the nation together as well as a catalyst for broadcasting innovation and we’re delighted that BBC Sport can now continue to deliver on these traditions through to 2020.”

Soccer Stadiums “Sold Out” After Organizers Ditch Tickets

The organizers of the Games in London were having trouble selling all of the tickets to the soccer games scheduled, so they came up with a creative solution: Throw out the tickets. There were about a million tickets left for sale before organizers took half of them and tossed them, according to Ninemsn.com. The capacity of the stadiums will simply be reduced. “This will involve possibly not using a tier, or an area of a ground, in some of the venues,” said one PR person for the Games.

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