SBD/Issue 172/Olympics

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  • Coca-Cola Signs Six Athletes To Deals For Vancouver Games

    Snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler One Of Six U.S.
    Athletes Signed By Coca-Cola For Vancouver
    Coca-Cola has signed six U.S. athletes -- snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler, figure skater Evan Lysacek, women's hockey D Angela Ruggiero, speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno and the pairs figure-skating team of Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker -- for the '10 Vancouver Games, according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The athletes will be "featured in point-of-sale advertising and other Coke marketing materials around" the Olympics. The sponsorships "end following the Vancouver Games." Coca-Cola "did a photo shoot with the Vancouver athletes two weeks ago" in Mount Hood, Oregon. The company "doesn't plan to feature the athletes on cans but will have them serve as Coke 'Ambassadors of Active Living.'" Mickle notes endorsement opportunities for athletes ahead of the Vancouver Games "have been scarce due to the ongoing recession." Many athlete agents had "expected Vancouver to be a lucrative opportunity for U.S. athletes because it's a North American Olympics, but so far they say companies have been conservative and slow to sign endorsement deals" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/25 issue).

    WORK-ING RELATIONSHIP: The USOC today formally announced the renewal of sponsorship partner Adecco Group North America, a human resources company that helps with job placement. The in-kind deal runs from '09-12. The deal gives Adecco rights to use the USOC marks in exchange for Adecco Group's continued assistance with career transition and job placement for U.S. Olympic athletes, coaches and others. Adecco will continue to run its Athlete Career Program, supporting athletes while training and helping integrate them into the job market afterward (Mickle).

    GRAPHIC SPOOF: In Vancouver, Damian Inwood reports PETA yesterday indicated that its logo "showing an inukshuk clubbing a seal and the Olympic rings dripping with blood is a spoof and will not be withdrawn." USOC lawyers had asked PETA to "stop using the logo on merchandise." A PETA statement said PETA attorneys "point out that the use of the familiar graphics is protected under the fair use doctrine" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 5/27).

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