British Olympians Face Dilemma Over Nike, BOA Shoe Sponsor Dispute
Nike has insisted its contracts with top prospective British Olympians are legally binding, "putting the athletes in a quandary about signing the Olympic team members agreement," according to Jacquelin Magnay of the London TELEGRAPH. The agreement, which is a contract with the BOA, "must be signed by competitors when they are named in Team GB, but the agreement demands that they wear adidas team clothing and shoes around the Olympic Village and on the medal presentation dais." A Nike spokesperson said, "As far as we are concerned, our contracts with individual athletes are binding. We are still in discussion on this point with the BOA." Agent Ricky Simms, who reps British runner Mo Farah, said that his colleagues had been "debating the Olympic team agreement with the BOA for months and had been led to believe the medal presentation ceremony had been taken out of the legal wording, only to discover this week a u-turn by the BOA." He added that "enforcement of the adidas contract was worrying for the athletes and would force the shoe companies to adopt a harder stance than the relaxed approach in previous Games." Simms said that it was "usual for athletes to be able to wear rival advertising on clothing during an Olympic Games and other major championships but the footwear and accessories were personal items" (London TELEGRAPH, 2/9).