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SBD Global/July 23, 2012/Olympics

LOCOG Says Fans In Non-Sponsor Brand Clothes Won't Be Turned Away

LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe said fans wearing non-sponsor shirts won't be turned away at Olympic venues.
LOCOG officials said that London Games ticket-holders “will be 'free to wear the clothing of their choice' inside Games venues,” according to Shiv Malik of the GUARDIAN. LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe previously had said that people "wearing advertising logos of non-Olympic sponsors would be turned away.” Coe said that spectators "would not be able to gain entry wearing a Pepsi T-shirt, but that they would 'probably' get in wearing Nike trainers.” Coca-Cola is an IOC TOP sponsor, while adidas is a LOCOG partner. A LOCOG spokesperson said that people wearing clothing “with other brands would not be prevented from entering venues” (GUARDIAN, 7/20). MARKETING MAGAZINE's John Reynolds reported LOCOG Communications Chair Jackie Brock-Doyle indicated that Coe "misheard the question" that was asked of him during the recent radio interview (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 7/20).

STARTING A REVOLUTION: In London, Andy Bull reported a group of U.S. athletes have “launched a ‘barefoot revolution’ against the stringent sponsorship rules being imposed on them” by the USOC. Silver Medal-winning shot putter Adam Nelson launched the protest, which “encourages athletes and fans to Tweet pictures of their bare feet with the tag #SolesForSoul.” Nelson said that he set up the campaign “after receiving phone calls and emails from other athletes who are concerned about the impact of USOC’s rules on their sponsorship incomes.” Nelson “missed out on qualification for the Games, but is a board member of the Track and Field Athletes Association.” He is “contemplating encouraging union members to go barefoot on the podium” (GUARDIAN, 7/19).

WHAT'S IN YOUR WALLET? The AP’s Paisley Dodds wrote the Olympics crush “has begun in London -- and so has the scramble for cold, hard cash in the pricey British capital.” Lines are “getting longer at ATMs, visitors are in sticker shock over British prices and some befuddled tourists are wondering what currency to use.” Since Visa holds an “exclusive sponsorship for the London Olympics, people at Olympics venues will either have to use cash, Visa credit or debit cards or go to kiosks where they can use other credit cards to purchase a special Visa prepaid card.” Visa has also “removed 27 ATMs from Olympic venues and replaced them with just eight Visa-only cash machines.” The company said that it “doesn't expect any problems due to its exclusive Olympic sponsorship.” Visa Head of Olympic Management Matt Kauffman said that “98% of U.K. residents hold either a Visa debit or a Visa credit card, and that 80% of those attending the Olympics will be from the U.K.” (AP, 7/19).

NOT LOVIN' IT
: In London, Jacquelin Magnay wrote having paid millions to sponsor the Olympics for the past 40 years, McDonald's managers "might not be delighted with the latest comments" made by Great Britain Head of Sports Science & Research Marco Cardinale. When asked if British athletes would be dining at the world's biggest McDonald's, based at the Olympic Park, he said he would be "very surprised" if they "make the wrong choice" (TELEGRAPH, 7/19).

ROYAL HEADACHE? The TELEGRAPH's Magnay noted that U.K. Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton’s family business, Party Pieces, “has been asked to change parts of their website after an investigation by London 2012 Olympics officials found some problems with the promotion of goods associated with the Games.” It is “believed the company will have to change a page where there is imagery of a Union Flag-covered Olympic torch and a female throwing a javelin under the title ‘Let the Games Begin’” (TELEGRAPH, 7/20).
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