Tomorrow’s a big day for the whole world. A time when we will all get together (Sorry, Russia) and celebrate our countries’ greatest athletes. If you are planning on talking about this big day on your personal account feel free – but if you are taking the talk on your company’s social media, you’ll have to be pretty good at charades, because mentioning the olympics or their hashtags is officially trademarked and off limits to any companies outside of the billion dollar sponsors, better known as rule 40. According to BBC Rio Olympics warn companies that their “online accounts should not reference any Olympic results, share or retweet anything from the official Olympic account, or use official hashtags including #Rio2016 and #TeamUSA.”
It isn’t only companies, either. Athletes can be sanctioned for communicating with sponsors via social media! Athletes, who are not allowed to profit off of being in the olympics, survive off of their income from sponsorships, but during July 27 through August 24, cannot show their support.
How serious is the punishment?
An athlete can face expulsion from the Games if they tweet about sponsors during those exhilirating two weeks.
Preventing ambush marketing around Rio 2016 to detract from the official sponsors of the Olympics.
How are companies reacting?
Well, most are staying quiet but companies such as Nike have released tips for employees watching the Olympics. @rule40 on Twitter can give you a pretty great perspective of how athletes and marketers feel about this ban on
using hashtags for the olympics. Companies such as Brooks, are handing out anti-Rule 40 t-shirts and stickers. They event went as far as tweeting, “We can’t wish our athletes good luck, so thanks for cheering for them for us. #runhappy,” reported by BrandChannel.com.
Although we won’t be using social media to cheer on The Event-that-must-not-be-named due to rule 40, we are very excited to watch. If you are planning on using social networks here are the words protected by the rule 40.