It’s the season of the Olympic games! For any small business, especially restaurant and retail, it’s a tempting time to go promo-crazy and start hosting “Yogi Summer Games” or the “Knitting Olympics”. Case in point, the recent brouhaha over Ravely’s use of the word “Olympics”. For any small business, staying in the know can mean the difference between a great campaign and a lawsuit.
A few guidelines to consider:
- Avoid the use of any Olympic associated word, like the words ‘London 2012’, the words ‘Olympic’, ‘Olympiad’ or ’Olympian’. This also includes any use of or derivative of Olympic symbol, the 2012 emblems, or the mascots.
- Utilizing the word ‘games’ in and by itself may not violate the restriction, but tying it in any way to the Olympics or viewing the games may. So carefully analyze the context and usage.
The Olympics have to protect their property and will jump in when you are utilizing their name to benefit your bottom line or even to raise money for a non-profit. So just play it safe and reconsider going for the gold (just this once). Or consider more inventive promotions that will reward your customers’ viewership and patriotism in conjunction with the games. Like a set discount for every gold medal or world record broken by U.S.A. team member.
As always, consult your lawyer when in doubt. Better to err on the side of caution when dealing with a juggernaut.
Articles to consider:
Olympic Going Overboard on Social Media Ban