Advertising Rules To Protect Rights of Athletes and NOCs Released

GABORONE: In recent years, it has come to light that companies and organizations often take advantage of associating themselves to athletes’ success during the Olympics Games.

In order to protect the image rights of athletes and the brand rights of National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as well as the Games Organizers (being the Rio Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games in this instance) have issued regulations surrounding brand association with such properties.

Rule 40 states that;
“Except as permitted by the IOC Executive Board, no competitor, coach, trainer or official who participates in the Olympic Games may allow his person, name, picture or sports performances to be used for advertising purposes during the period of the Olympic Games”
Rule 40, of which the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) shall strictly be applying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be in place from July 27th until 24th August 2016.

Local companies and organizations are encouraged to steer away from the use of Olympic related terms of expression or imagery without the express consent of the BNOC; the exclusive rights holders of Olympic related terms of expression or imagery in Botswana. Examples include the use of the words, “Olympic Games” used on advertising material or images of the Olympic rings on advertising material, as well as the use of athletes’ images or names that are part of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games team.

Companies and organisations supporting Team Botswana to the Rio Olympic Games, however will enjoy the exclusive rights to associate with BNOC, Rio Olympic Games and IOC Top Partners. They are allowed to congratulate the team and athletes’ performance throughout the Games while it is not permissible for non-sponsors.

Companies are therefore encouraged to comply with this rule and if in doubt to seek guidance from BNOC.