I had heard that the organisers of the Olympics are control freaks but this is extreme. With a heavy-handed legal letter the US Olympic Committee are warning any organisation that is not a sponsor that they cannot tweet about the Olympics. I get that they want to protect their brand from ambush marketing but it just seems ridiculous that you can trademark hashtags. It also seems to be entirely focused on a B2C perspective. What about B2B? What about individuals tweeting about the Olympics who work for a non-sponsor (like me)?
As the article below says does that mean commercial entities cannot even re-tweet an IOC tweet? Crazy. What if a sponsor is a client or supplier to another company - surely it would be a nice way to show support of your partners to re-tweet their Olympic support? It will be interesting to see how this approach plays out over the next few weeks in the B2B space.
I am hoping that common sense will prevail but this just seems like the Olympic Committee thinking about the internet all the wrong way around. I will let you know if I get sued :)
What’s getting the US Olympics Committee in a tizzy this time? Tweets. Specifically any company that tweets about the Olympic Games and isn’t a sponsor. ESPN obtained a letter from the US Olympic Committee chief marketing officer Lisa Baird who outlines the absurd demands. “Commercial entities may not post about the Trials or Games on their corporate social media accounts,” Baird writes, apparently in earnest. “This restriction includes the use of USOC’s trademarks in hashtags such as #Rio2016 or #TeamUSA.”