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The People's Games Or The Sponsor's?


by Vivek Subramanian 6:28pm Wed Sep 20 '00

Amidst the fears of terrorist threats, officials at Sydney are grappling to deal with a threat that jeopardises the "people's" games; ambush marketing!

In an attempt to please one of the games largest official sponsors, Coca - Cola, security guards and games officials at Olympic venues have been asking visitors attending sports events if they are carrying "knives, weapons or cans of Pepsi." Pepsi has been classified alongside bombs, knives and other dangerous weapons.

This move has ignited a widespread crackdown on other non-official products. Organisers have been checking venues to make certain that only official sponsors' products are noticeable. In total, official sponsorship has brought close to $1.7 billion to these games.

Computers and television monitors that are not of the brands IBM and Panasonic respectively are having their logo's covered by black tape. Visitors to any Olympic complex are not allowed to bring alcohol,but are allowed to purchase it once inside the venues. However the choice is limited to the official beer sponsor, Carlton & United. The limitations extend to other consumption products; visitors are allowed to bring "reasonable quantities" of food, according to a organizing committee spokesperson, "but there are dozens of restaurants in the complex where they can eat."

All this has led to the messy legal rows between official sponsors accusing non-official sponsors of "ambush marketing". For example, Ansett Australia, the official Olympic Games airline, has accused Qantas of using Olympic orientated images in their advertising. Carlton &United is planning to sue rival brewers Lion Nathan on similar grounds.

© Scoop Media

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