The IOC "this week will ink an agreement with the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industries to implement a marketing code establishing guidelines for activities linked to the Olympic Games," according to Jeff Jensen of AD AGE. The code offers 12 agreements, "the first being that marketers can't use Olympics marks in ads without permission of the IOC; another bars marketers from distributing 'presence marketing material' to spectators. Advertisers also are asked to honor an Olympic Charter rule that forbids companies from using Olympic athletes in ads during the duration of the Games without IOC permission. New guidelines are being drawn up for ads saluting athletes for winning medals." While the agreement is "self enforced" -- both adidas and Reebok called the code a "gentlemen's agreement" (AD AGE, 12/1 issue). TOUGH TALK: John Hancock's David D'Alessandro "urged" Olympic sponsors to "sue aggressively, sue often and sue for damages" if contract problems arose with the Sydney Olympic Organizing Committee for the 2000 Games. He called TV networks "the enemy of sponsors." D'Alessandro: "As pressure mounts on organizing committees to make their huge budget and tight deadlines, (networks) often conveniently change their interpretation of your contract to suit their needs" (USA TODAY, 12/2).
Commenting on coverage of the Nagano Games, CBS Senior Producer Rick Gentile said the network will use advanced 3-D computer graphics for events like the downhill, bobsled and ski jump and high-tech animation for figure skating. Gentile: "It's going to be like a video game." CBS is also planning to use minicameras "all over the place," including the face mask of U.S. hockey G Mike Richter. Gentile noted that time difference -- Nagano is 14 hours ahead of the east coast, 17 on the west coast -- prevents figure skating from being seen live, and while Gentile said he was "aware of the criticism NBC faced for not giving enough time" to women's soccer and volleyball in Atlanta, the women's hockey final "will not air ... unless the Nagano schedule is changed" (AP/HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 12/1). Men's hockey, featuring NHL players, will be shown live -- at 11:35pm ET on weekends, and at 12:35am ET, following David Letterman, on weeknights. CBS Sports President Sean McManus: "They won't get a 25 rating. But they'll do respectably" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/2). MASCOT MANIA: SLOC has "scrapped plans to debut the mascot" for the 2002 Games at the closing ceremonies in Nagano. SLOC "decided to slow down last month" when focus groups in Phoenix, Milwaukee and Salt Lake City said that the mascot designs being considered "weren't 'Olympic enough'" (Lisa Riley Roche, DESERET NEWS, 11/27). HYBL APPOINTED TO IOC COMMITTEES: USOC President Bill Hybl, who serves as the Americas VP for the Association of National Olympic Committees, was recently named to two IOC panels. He will serve on the IOC's Olympic Solidarity Commission and on the Olympic Movement Commission, both chaired by IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch. In Colorado, Mike Spence noted that Hybl's appointments makes his participation "the most substantial of any USOC president since Avery Brundage" (GAZETTE TELEGRAPH, 11/30).