Rule 40 guidelines will be sent to National Olympic Committees (NOC) including Bermuda to determine their implementation, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have revealed.
IOC Legal Commission chair John Coates presented a change to the Olympic Charter at the IOC Session at the swiss Tech Convention Center in Lausanne regarding Rule 40.
Rule 40.3 of the Olympic Charter warns "no competitor, team official or other team personnel who participates in the Olympic Games may allow his person, name, picture or sports performances to be used for advertising purposes during the Olympic Games".
It is seen as major reason why companies are willing to sign up as part of the lucrative The Olympic Partner (TOP) sponsorship scheme which guarantees huge exposure during Games-time.
However, it has often caused contention with athletes who claim they are unable to make money during the most important time of their career.
The charter change will amend bylaw three of Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter to read: “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.”
This is something Bermuda Olympian Tyrone Smith agrees with, Smith telling www.islandstats.com, “I think any positive change on the subject is a great step. Ultimately from a sponsorship standpoint for the Olympics I can understand wanting to protect the ability for the IOC to Gardner and maintain major sponsorships.”
“However preventing athletes from being able to make money off of their own names during a time of their career where their value is higher than it will ever be, has always seemed like to me the IOC was more concerned about their bank accounts than the bank accounts of the athletes who have shed blood sweat and tears in order to achieve the Olympic dream,” continued Smith.
Smith went on to say, “That dream very rarely comes attached to millions of dollars. The language is still a bit vague however because of the “...in accordance With the principles determined by the IOC“. I personally don’t believe that an athlete individual sponsors will take away from the overseas ability to collect from big multinational sponsors.”
“Ultimately what I see is a generation of bureaucrats that are not in touch with the realities of marketing in the digital age as it pertains to social media and multiple platforms Through which they can interface with fans. Their energy would be much better spent on finding ways to capitalize on these new mediums than restricting the earning abilities of the athletes who are what make the Olympic Games through which they can interface with fans,” continued Smith.
Smith concluded, “That being said I’m very pleased to see some positive steps being taken on the subject and for a change feels like the lives and well-being of the athletes are being considered...and not just during the games but how they take care of themselves before and after the games.”