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U.S. Olympic Committee Announces Updated Rule 40 Guidelines

By Brandon Penny | June 09, 2015, 7:25 p.m. (ET)

As part of an ongoing effort to support athletes’ rights, the United States Olympic Committee announced today its updated Rule 40 guidelines, which will allow the continuation of in-market generic advertising featuring Games participants during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games period.

While evaluating Rule 40 in the lead-up to the Rio Games, the International Olympic Committee and USOC sought potential ways to further protect athletes’ rights. The recent changes to the guidance were made with athlete input in mind as a way to help athletes potentially generate additional financial support as they chase their Olympic dreams.

The USOC’s updated Rule 40 guidance, consistent with the guidance issued earlier this year by the IOC, was devised with input from the USOC Board of Directors, the USOC National Governing Bodies Council and the leadership of the Athletes’ Advisory Council.

Athletes and other Games participants will benefit from the new guidance as they will no longer be required to disrupt on-going in-market advertising campaigns during the Rule 40 period.

The guidelines also protect USOC sponsors’ exclusive rights to use Olympic marks, terminology and imagery.

The guidelines stipulate that, in order to obtain a Rule 40 waiver from the USOC, campaigns must run continuously starting no later than March 27, 2016. As has been the case, campaigns submitted for review may not include direct or indirect association with the Rio Games, the USOC, Team USA, Olympic intellectual property or terms generally associated with the Olympic Games.

As defined by the IOC, the Rule 40 period for the 2016 Olympic Games is July 27-Aug. 24, 2016 (nine days prior to the Opening Ceremony through three days after the Closing Ceremony).

For more information, visit TeamUSA.org/athletemarketing.