U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Brand Usage Guidelines

U.S. OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC BRAND USAGE GUIDELINES

Welcome to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Brand Usage Guidelines site -- an overview of the USOC’s intellectual property “IP” rights and guidance on how Olympic and Paralympic trademarks, images and terms may be used. Throughout this discussion, “USOC IP” means the logos, words and phrases, and other imagery for which USOC holds exclusive rights, as set out in “USOC Intellectual Property” just below.

USOC Intellectual Property

Logos

The USOC owns or has the right to control many trademarks or logos in the United States, including the graphics below and the trademarked words and phrases to the right. 

Trademarked Words and Phrases

The USOC also owns many federal trademarks including, but not limited to:

  • OLYMPIC, OLYMPIAD, OLYMPIAN and FUTURE OLYMPIAN
  • GO FOR THE GOLD and GATEWAY TO GOLD
  • LET THE GAMES BEGIN
  • PARALYMPIC, PARALYMPIAD and PARALYMPIAN
  • PAN-AMERICAN, PAN AM GAMES
  • PYEONGCHANG 2018, TOKYO 2020, BEIJING 2022, PARIS 2024, LOS ANGELES 2028, LA 2028, LA28
  • ROAD TO RIO, ROAD TO PYEONGCHANG and ROAD TO TOKYO
  • TEAM USA

Other trademarks, trade names, signs, symbols or images falsely representing association with, or authorization by the USOC or the Olympic, Paralympic or Pan American Games

In addition to the trademarks shown above, the USOC will have the right to control future logos and word marks associated with Olympic, Paralympic and Pan American Games.

The USOC also has the right to control the commercial use of photographs or other images from the Games that include Team USA athletes or USOC IP.

Federal law also prohibits unauthorized use of simulations of OLYMPIC tending to falsely suggest an affiliation with the Olympic Games, such as AQUALYMPICS, SKYLYMPICS, CHICAGOLYMPICS, BROLYMPICS, RADIOLYMPICS, MATHLYMPICS, etc.

The USOC does not control the trademarks or logos owned by the National Governing Body (NGB) for a specific sport. For instruction on the proper use of those marks, please contact the relevant NGB directly.

COMMERICIAL

No business or other commercial entity should use USOC IP without the express consent of the USOC. Generally speaking, the use of USOC IP is reserved for official Olympic sponsors, suppliers and licensees, for the reasons mentioned here. This includes requests by companies wishing to host an event (seminar, conference, team-building event) with an Olympic or Paralympic theme. Federal law also prohibits the use of OLYMPIC or PARALYMPIC in a company or product name without the USOC’s permission.

ONLY OFFICIAL LICENSEES MAY USE
  • USOC IP as authorized under the applicable license from the USOC.
  • Official USOC partners should submit all proposed uses of USOC IP for approval through authorized channels prior to use.
If you are a company with significant existing product distribution and would like the USOC to consider a proposal to become a Team USA merchandise licensee, please contact Laura.Sokol@usoc.org

PLEASE DO NOT
  • Use USOC IP in any form of advertising (e.g., on a brochure, in a print ad, on your website, in social media, etc.) or put USOC IP on clothing or other merchandise unless you are an official USOC partner and such use has been approved by the USOC.
  • Create your own "version" of any USOC trademarks. For example, the Olympic Symbol should not be simulated using pizzas, onion rings, tires, beverages, basketballs, snowflakes, triangles, smiley faces, fruits and vegetables, etc.
  • Use USOC IP to host a contest or team-building event for your employees or your organization’s members.
  • Use OLYMPIC in the name of your company (unless it is a local business on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state or the company has been using OLYMPIC in its business name since at least 1950).
  • Use PARALYMPIC or PAN AMERICAN in the name of your company (unless it has been operating under that name since at least 1998).
  • Use USOC IP in your company’s social media posts because it suggests an association between the company and the Games and/or Team USA. Please see further details here.

If you still have questions after reviewing these guidelines, please contact Carol.Gross@usoc.org

SOCIAL MEDIA

The USOC recognizes that the nature of social media encourages people to talk about current events and hot topics; and we appreciate the interest, excitement and public conversation around the Games. At the same time, it is important to remember that, unless a company or organization's primary business is disseminating news and information, its social media platforms are almost certainly commercial in nature, serving to promote the company, organization, or brand; to raise the brand's profile and public opinion about the company or organization; and/or to increase sales, membership or donations. In terms of commercial entities, only official Olympic partners have permission to use USOC IP in social media. This section applies to all social media platforms including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope, Google+ and others.

FEEL FREE TO
  • Cheer for, send good luck to, or congratulate Team USA or other Olympic and Paralympic athletes on your personal social media accounts.
  • Talk about Team USA, the Games, or Games-related sports performances on your personal social media accounts.
  • Use hashtags that include USOC IP such as #OLYMPICS, #PYEONGCHANG2018, #TeamUSA, #GoForTheGold, or #GoTeamUSA on your personal social media accounts.
  • Post news and information about Team USA, the Games or Games-related sports performances from journalistic outlets’ social media accounts per the Editorial Use Guidelines below.
NON-JOURNALISTIC, CORPORATE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS, PLEASE DO NOT
  • Use USOC IP to cheer for, send good luck to, or congratulate Team USA or other Olympic and Paralympic athletes from corporate social media accounts directly prior to or during the Games. Due to IOC and IPC rules, a business’s use of a participating athlete’s name or image during the “blackout period” without a waiver could potentially jeopardize that athlete’s eligibility for the Olympic or Paralympic Games.
  • Use hashtags that include USOC IP such as #OLYMPICS, #OLYMPIAN, #TeamUSA, #PyeongChang2018, #GoForTheGold, or #GoTeamUSA to talk about the Games, the athletes, or Games-related sports performances from corporate social media accounts.
  • Post images from the Games depicting Team USA athletes or USOC IP from corporate social media accounts unless your entity’s primary business is distribution of news and information.
  • Post images that simulate the Olympic Rings from corporate social media accounts.
  • Use social media to suggest any connection between your company or business and the USOC, Team USA, or the Games without the USOC’s permission.

EDITORIAL

Editorial use of USOC IP is appropriate when it provides context to an article, story or broadcast or is used online for news-related purposes by a journalistic outlet. The use of USOC trademarks should not promote or publicize the news outlet itself. For example, newspapers should not put the Olympic Rings in their masthead while reporting on the Games.

Commercial entities whose primary purpose is the sale of goods or services unrelated to disseminating the news may not use USOC IP under the pretext of editorial content. For example, a soft drink company might post “current news” on its website; however, it is not a media company and its primary business is selling soft drinks. Therefore, it is not appropriate for entities that are not journalistic outlets to use USOC IP without permission from the USOC.

FEEL FREE TO 
  • Use USOC trademarks in connection with news coverage about the Games.
  • Maintain the integrity of USOC trademarks; use the full-color version of Olympic Rings only on a WHITE background; use a monochromatic version of Olympic rings only in a color found in the full-color version.
  • Use International Olympic Committee guidelines found here for editorial usage of Olympic trademarks, and use International Paralympic Committee guidelines found here for editorial use of Paralympic trademarks.
PLEASE DO NOT
  • Alter, rotate stretch or distort USOC trademarks.
  • Use full-color version of Olympic Rings on colored background; and do not use a monochrome version of the Olympic Rings in purple, brown, orange or another color not found in the original.
  • Use USOC trademarks to promote a publication or website, for example, putting the Olympic Rings in the masthead of publication, a website banner, or in such close proximity to the name of the company that it suggests an official relationship.
  • Allow sponsorship of Games "sections" of a news publication or website by a third-party unless that company is an official USOC partner.
  • Put USOC trademarks on merchandise or giveaways, such as pins.

If you still have questions after reviewing these guidelines or wish to request a logo, please contact communications@usoc.org

EDUCATIONAL

The USOC encourages educators to teach students about the Olympic and Paralympic Movements, including their history, purpose and ideals. The guidelines in this section apply to teachers, administrators and others in non-profit educational settings.

FEEL FREE TO 
  • Use USOC IP in teaching students about the Olympic and Paralympic Games, their history, purpose, ideals, and what they mean to the global community.
  • Host an Olympic Day celebration in honor of the Olympic Games and Olympic athletes under the USOC's guidelines here.
  • Request permission to use USOC IP to honor an Olympic or Paralympic athlete who attended your school (by installing a plaque or other form of recognition).
  • Use USOC IP in a limited way inside a school yearbook in recognition of the Games that occurred during the school year.
  • Use USOC IP in a school newspaper (whether online or in hardcopy) according to the Editorial Use Guidelines above.
  • Use USOC IP in educational projects that are not being published.

PLEASE DO NOT
  • Combine any USOC trademarks with your school's name or logo. For example, please do not call your school’s field day the "Jefferson Elementary Olympics."
  • Create and/or sell t-shirts, bumper stickers, or any other merchandise using USOC trademarks for fundraising, school spirit, etc. This includes using USOC trademarks on the cover of a school yearbook or to promote yearbook sales.
  • Host events called "[Subject] Olympics" such as the Reading Olympics or the Astronomy Olympics. (Note, however, that the USOC has licensed the use of the Science Olympiad and Mathematics Olympiad by specific authorized entities.)
  • Use USOC IP in any fundraising activities.
  • Use USOC IP in a published educational work without USOC permission.

If you still have questions after reviewing these guidelines or wish to request a logo, please contact Carol.Gross@usoc.org

COMMUNITY INSTITUTIONS

Community institutions include libraries, cities or townships, camps, social clubs, churches and other organizations. Often times, these organizations wish to engage in activities, host events, or publish articles about the Games. As long as these groups are not commercial in nature and the Games-related events are not affiliated with commercial third-parties, such institutions may do so in accordance with the guidelines below.

FEEL FREE TO 
  • Use USOC IP in order to inform people about the Olympic and Paralympic Games, their purpose, history and ideals, and what they mean to the global community.
  • Use USOC IP in a publication for members as set forth in the Editorial Use Guidelines here.
  • Use USOC IP at a non-commercial event where an Olympian or Paralympian is speaking or is being honored, so long as USOC IP is not combined with a third party’s name or logo in such a way as to create a false association between the two.
  • Celebrate the Olympic or Paralympic Games through non-commercial community festivities that do not recognize or associate with third-party sponsors.
  • Request permission to host large-scale community-based Olympic or Paralympic viewing parties only in coordination with the local NBC affiliate.
  • Request permission to use the Olympic Symbol on a scout patch that can be earned by individuals demonstrating knowledge about the Olympic Movement.

PLEASE DO NOT

  • Combine any USOC IP with your institution's name or logo.
  • Create and/or sell any merchandise or giveaways using USOC trademarks, for example, t-shirts, bumper stickers, water bottles, key chains or pins.
  • Use "Olympics," "Paralympics" or "lympics in the name of your event, such as the "Reading Olympics" for a summer reading program or "Biblympics" for a church camp.
  • Use USOC IP in fundraising activities without the USOC’s consent.

If you still have questions after reviewing these guidelines or wish to request a logo, please contact Carol.Gross@usoc.org

PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATIONS

The USOC relies on fundraising efforts to raise funds to support the dreams of athletes aspiring to compete at the Games. Accordingly, USOC trademarks should not be used in fundraising for other charitable organizations or initiatives that may confuse donors or take away from these efforts.

FEEL FREE TO
  • Use Olympic or Paralympic references to identify an athlete and his/her accomplishments (along with other non-Olympic/Paralympic achievements) if an athlete is involved in promoting a charitable organization.
PLEASE DO NOT
  • Use USOC IP for fundraising or public awareness campaigns except as described in the “Feel Free To” section above.
  • Host events with "Olympics," "Paralympics" or "lympics" in the name.
  • Use an athlete's Olympic or Paralympic medals, footage or photos of Games competition that incorporate the USOC trademarks, or any of the USOC’s copyrighted materials if an athlete is involved in promoting the organization.
  • Use the USOC IP in promoting any fundraising events, whether for charitable causes or for athletes aspiring to compete in the Games, except as described above in the “Feel Free To” section.
If you still have questions after reviewing these guidelines or wish to request a logo, please contact Carol.Gross@usoc.org

ATHLETE MARKETING

A separate portion of Team USA’s website hosts resources and guidelines for athletes seeking to raise funds for their own training or travel. Please see the USOC Athlete Resource section of this web site here where you will find the USOC’s Athlete Endorsement Guidelines here. This section also includes IOC and IPC guidelines for athletes on the use of social media and other related matters.

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

If you would like to license historic Olympic footage, please contact the USOC’s Manager of Footage Licensing, Tamera Reub, at Tamera.Reub@usoc.org. She also can answer questions pertaining to Olympic-themed programming.