Every Olympics, someone tries to ambush the million dollar sponsors.
This time, in Athens, the organizers are making sure Coke, Burger King and other big players don’t get upstaged. See this news report. I grant, they pay big money to be a ‘TOP’ (The Olympic Program) sponsor. In the neighborhood of 272 million Euro. But the brand guardians should guard against stunts that could undermine that reputation.
The article mentions –I thought this was really funny –-being forced to wear your T-shirt inside out, just in case the message was not commercially Kosher.
“Staff will also be on the lookout for T-shirts, hats and bags displaying the unwelcome logos of non-sponsors. Stewards have been trained to detect people who may be wearing merchandise from the sponsors’ rivals in the hope of catching the eyes of television audiences. Those arousing suspicion will be required to wear their T-shirts inside out.”
As Media Culpa, a blog devoted to Media and PR by Swedish blogger Hans Kullin notes,
“I’m sorry, but my soft drink preferences would start to lean slightly away from the word’s #1 brand. This is just not good PR.”