COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is actively responding to the tactics of a small number of U.S. businesses which are employing ambush marketing tactics in an effort to associate with the Olympic Winter Games and the U.S. Olympic Team. The USOC, as the National Olympic Committee of the United States, is charged with protecting the Olympic marks in the United States. Throughout the world, the Olympic marks are used to generate revenue to support the Olympic Movement. In the U.S., using Congress' grant of exclusive rights to Olympic marks under the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, the USOC has built strong sponsor relationships through which it generates revenue to support America's Olympic athletes. By attempting to create a false association with the Olympic Games, companies using ambush marketing harm the interest and endeavors of athletes. 

 

Ambush marketing is unfair and runs contrary to the Olympic spirit because it allows the ambush marketer to benefit from an association with the Olympic marks without providing any financial support to America's athletes and the global Olympic Movement. These companies damage official Olympic sponsors and undermine the USOC's financial means to ensure that America's athletes are given the best chance to perform to their best potential on the field of play.

 

"It is incredibly disappointing to see American companies taking advantage of the spirit of the Olympic Winter Games for their own profit, and at the expense of America's Olympic athletes," USOC chief executive officer Scott Blackmun said. "Olympism is based upon a spirit of fair play, and ambush marketing clearly violates that spirit. The USOC extends our sincere gratitude to all our official Olympic sponsors and suppliers. In the U.S., the USOC would be unable to support America's athletes and send the best prepared U.S. Team to the Olympic Games every two years. It is the financial generosity of these companies that enable U.S. Olympians to reach for their dreams, and in turn, inspire all Americans.

Added Gerhard Heiberg, Executive Board Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Chairman of the IOC Marketing Commission:

 

"The IOC and its partners in the Olympic Movement take the threat of ambush marketing very seriously. We want to protect the integrity of the Olympic rings, the Olympic values and the future viability of the Olympic Games. Corporate sponsorship provides essential support for competing athletes and contributes to the overall success of the Games. Put simply, without the support of our official commercial partners, the Games would not be able to happen."

 

He continued: "Ultimately, companies which try to create the false impression that they are an official partner of the Olympic Games, or create a false association with the Olympic Games, are cheating Olympic athletes, Olympic Games' organisers and Olympic fans. It is important that the public is made aware of these organizations and how they are depriving the Olympic Games and sport development around the world of essential support."

 

The official list of USOC partners, sponsors and suppliers is available at www.teamusa.org.

 

The USOC has created an ad campaign to thank and recognize the USOC's official partners, sponsors and suppliers which will launch next week.