Olympic sponsors are scared and small


The story goes that at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, Adidas was the principle sportswear sponsor but Nike bought all the billboards in the city and covered them with their adverts, thus winning the fierce promotional war. Now all sponsorship deals related to the Olympics bring with them a ridiculous list of terms and conditions to avoid such tragedies, such as CafĂ© Olympic being forced to change its name (above), and Visa closing all cash machines at the Olympic sites and replacing them with ones that only accept their cards. As one writer said, this is what happens when money gets involved in fun and games.

Do the companies involved not realise how ridiculous this makes them? Perhaps if they took their eyes off the bottom line for a moment and considered the athletes they might learn a lesson. Usain Bolt doesn't have to say that he's the best, he doesn't ban his competitors from running, he just runs faster than all of them. Clearly the companies involved don't have the same confidence: for all their boasting they are scared and small.