Canada has achieved more medals in this Winter Olympics than any previous ones. Norway will likely match the record 14 gold medals that Canada had in Vancouver. Remarkable achievements.
What caught my attention is the upcoming event with the name "Big Air". It is making its debut this year. It is considered an extreme sport. On the bottom of the snowboards are names such as Burton. I found an article that helped with understanding all these names. It has to do with the Olympic brand police.
"Snowboard manufacturers Burton, GNU, Salomon and StepChild have seen their names plastered on nearly every high-flying snowboard at this year’s game, despite Rule 50, which says that gear brands can be represented, but only by a 10 percent surface presence on gear or apparel. But watch any of the popular snowboarding events, and you’ll see that the 10 percent rule has gone out the window. Instead, brand names are slapped across the bottom of boards in bright, bold colors, screaming for attention."
Logos get 'taped over' by the Olympic brand police. Reports claimed that Samsung, an official sponsor, asked athletes to cover up their Apple logo on their phones. Duct tape is the common tool for this. A Handyman's special tool, used frequently by Red Green.
The real excitement over the brand police was in 2012 in London. London went extreme to protect its investment, with 300 'enforcement officers' working to ensure firms were not staging 'ambush marketing' or illegally associating themselves with the Olympic Games. They went into shops and offices near Olympic sites, and could give fines up to $31,000 for misuse of words such as gold, silver, bronze, summer, sponsors, and London.
We think of the commercial side of the Olympics as relatively recent - since television perhaps. However, even the first Olympics in London in 1908 had sponsors. Oxo refreshments were handed out to the marathon competitors along the route of the race.
Save the Date: I will be at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington on Sunday, April 8th in the afternoon. The speaking topic is The Romantic Garden. This is a free event, so please consider coming. It is one of the all-time favourite garden topics. Let me know if you can make it - we can get together for lunch in the cafe, and then on to the meeting.