Maximising the opportunity
It’s clear that the Rio 2016 Olympics is creating opportunities for technological innovation, enabling brands to improve both athlete performance and spectator experiences.
The games is providing a platform for companies to showcase its latest technological offerings, and gain worldwide exposure and awareness among new potential business customers, partners, and ambassadors.
Understanding rules and regulations that govern communications
However, before the CMO jumps straight into the Olympic fever and what it can do for their brand, it’s important to understand the rules governing the communication of the games. Rule 40 prohibits non-sponsors using athletes to promote its brand, and can get in trouble for using words such as “victory”, “medal”, “challenge”, “performance”, “effort” and “2016”, depending on the context, from 27 July until midnight on 24 August 2016. The legislation is to prevent ambush marketing, and originally was created to prevent over-commercialisation and protect the official games sponsors who have paid for marketing rights.
Finding a work around: “it’s not what you say it’s how you say it”
So, how do brands still leverage the Olympics, one of the world’s most anticipated sporting event of the year, to build mass awareness? Marketing teams need to find creative ways of working around infractions, using clever language and activities which hit target audiences but without risking lawsuits and penalties. Whether these are creative pop-up activities in and around Rio, clever content using substituted phrases such as ‘summer of sport,’ or on-boarding athletes years before the games begin.
Mark Schmid, managing partner, Ogilvy Public Relations said: “Great campaigns need something to push up against and the friction caused by rules and regulations around major events can spark fantastic ideas. Act responsibly and be true to your brand. If you can create a natural, relevant and interesting link between who you are, what you do and the event in question there’ll be a creative way of delivering it based on that insight. Don’t shoe horn yourself into a major event just because it’s happening, you’re better than that.”