AWSI: The Rio Advertising Games HAVE Begun…

Pondering Rule 20

Pondering Rule 40

While perusing AdAge, we came upon this story (Non-Sponsors With Olympic Dreams Must Beat March 27 Deadline: New Sponsorship Rules Alter Olympic Marketing Playbook).

Say what?

Read further to discover that the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) announced a rule change that allows non-Olympic sponsors to run ads starring Olympic athletes during the games. This is something that was a no-no, as only sponsors (brands that ponied up big bucks) could do so.

So here’s the catch:

…to qualify, non-sponsors must run their marketing “continuously starting no later than March 27.” As a result, ads starring Olympians could hit the market soon, well before the Olympic marketing season typically begins.

Aha! So that’s why we’ve been noticing an uptick in Olympics-themed ads.

For example, Dick’s Sporting Goods has “The Contenders”

And there’s more —Rule 40:

Apparently under the new regulations, non-sponsors have to request Rule 40 waivers from the USOC that allows them to run ads during the blackout period that period runs from July 27 to Aug. 24 (The games run from Aug. 5 to Aug. 21 in Brazil.).

…the rule change creates an opening for non-sponsors to seize on the Olympic conversation when it is most relevant — during the games — even if they can’t explicitly say “Olympics.”


UA Carpe Moment

Looks like Under Armour, not an official USOC sponsor but has deals with several teams (USA Gymnastics and USA Boxing) is seizing the moment by orchestrating a worldwide media day where they unveiled Olympic uniforms and talked about the brand’s Baltimore-based production of the first-ever 3D printed shoe.

One of the Under Armour Olympic uniforms unveiled.

One of the Under Armour Olympic uniforms unveiled.


[Source: Baltimore Sun]

Executives said they planned the summit in part to help propel the brand’s small but growing share of sales from international consumers, a key growth area along with the women’s market and footwear.

“It is the perfect time to introduce more people across the globe to the brand,” Kevin Haley, president of product and innovation, said in an interview.

So this will be an interesting development to watch. We wonder if there will be Olympics fatigue from such a lengthy run-up to the Games. For sure, this will be a welcomed break from those ol’ so harsh political ads.


Bonus Content

While exploring for this post, we discovered there’s an “official video game” for the Rio Games. Nintendo and Sega have announcedMario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.” the video game which “unites the two characters in the diverse sports integrated” within the event.

Players can choose Mario and Sonic characters to play events like soccer, beach volleyball and golf in the Olympics.

The Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games ($39.99) is available for the Nintendo 3DS on March 18, 2016. Looks like a lot of fun. If you can’t wait, apparently they did a version for the London games which you can grab at Gamestop for a fraction of the price ($9.99).

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