IOC Opens Up Marketing For Athletes, Changes Rules For Host Cities, Nations
Monday, July 1, 2019 at 10:23AM
NYSportsJournalism.com in IOC, Olympics, Olympics, Tokyo 2020, USOC, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

June 27, 2019: Stating that “This is the evolution of the Olympic Agenda 2020 revolution, as we must continue to keep up with the fast pace of change in our current world,” the International Olympic Committee is moving closer to making a major change in the way it regulates how athletes can market themselves during the Summer and Winter Games.

It also will be re-defining the term “host” city or nation.

And the IOC has finalized its moves against the International Boxing Assn. (AIBA), officially stripping the group of its status with the Olympics due to financial and other situations.

Previously under IOC regulations, Olympic athletes during the duration of the Summer and Winter Games, respectively, have had to curtail marketing that did not involved official IOC and/or U.S Oylmpic and Paralympic Committee partners, focusing on marketing and activation with Olympic sponsors.

According to the IOC and USOC, “Because a significant amount U.S. Olympic Committee funding comes from U.S. Olympic and Paralympic sponsors, those companies are granted rights to use Olympic and Paralympic trademarks and/or imagery (“marks”) for promotion and advertising.”

Now, the IOC said it “took note of a new set of guiding principles regarding commercial opportunities for participants during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 which were approved . . .  by the IOC Executive Board. The Session itself decided on a change to Bye-law 3 of Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter.

“Athletes are at the heart of the Olympic Movement, and supporting them at all levels, on and off the field of play, is a priority for the IOC,” according to the organization.

The IOC said the principles seek to clarify the commercial opportunities during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and put athletes and other Olympic Games participants “in a better position to work with their personal sponsors in a manner consistent with their rights and responsibilities under the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration and the Olympic Charter.”

The IOC said that the new principles “represent a balance between, on the one hand, protecting and maintaining Olympic marketing programs to ensure funding of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement, and, on the other hand, the individual athlete’s rights to generate income in relation to their sporting career, name and likeness.

The National Olympic Committees will be responsible for the implementation in their respective territory, while taking into consideration their specific applicable legal framework, and will receive the guidelines soon.

Moving forward, “Competitors, team officials and other team personnel who participate in the Olympic Games may allow their person, name, picture or sports performances to be used for advertising purposes during the Olympic Games in accordance with the principles determined by the IOC Executive Board.”

The definition of an Olympic host was tweaked to “make it clear that it does not necessarily refer to a single city but can also mean multiple cities, regions and even countries.”

The 2026 Winter Games will be the first Olympics with multiple official host cities — Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy.

Although previous Olympics have been in multiple cities and even countries, the official Olympic host was always one city.

“This is the evolution of the Olympic Agenda 2020 revolution, as we must continue to keep up with the fast pace of change in our current world,” IOC president Thomas Bach said via the organization.

“This is the evolution of the Olympic Agenda 2020 revolution, as we must continue to keep up with the fast pace of change in our current world."

“Flexibility is a necessity to ensure good governance and to have sustainable Olympic Games in the future. We will do that while maintaining the magic of the Games, the fundamental principle of universality and our commitment to having athletes at the center of everything we do.”

In addition, the IOC executive board has officially stripped the International Boxing Assn. AIBA of its status with the Olympics due to financial and other situations and will itself oversee qualifying and final tournaments for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

AIBA is $16 million in debt, according to Reuters and other news sources.

The situation dates back to November 2018, when the IOC executive board launched an investigation into AIBA.

At that time, the IOC said of AIBA, “Uncertainty still persists about the ability of the organization to continue as a going concern.”

IOC KOs Troubled International Boxing Federation For 2020 Tokyo Games

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