Thursday, August 2, 2012

When It Comes to the Olympics and Sponsorship The Brits Are Trying to Stay Pimm and Proper

Keeping you safe -no non-Olympic brands are entering the premise.
There's been much talk across the pond in London about branding with the Olympics-specifically avoiding brands that are not official sponsors of the Olympics. Private Eye, a British political spoof magazine, even had a cover poking fun at Pepsi being persona non grata on Olympic ground where Coke is the official Olympic sponsor. (Of course if NYC Mayor Bloomberg had his way, both sugary drinks would be banned.) And then there was that unidentified flying object that turned out not to be aliens landing in Parliament but the Goodyear Blimp, ubiquitous at sporting events around the globe, after it had been stripped of any corporate reference.
This is all due to a law passed in 2006 by the British government that not only enhanced copyright protection for the word "Olympics" and related symbols and slogans, but also blocked non-sponsoring companies from suggesting any hint of connection to the games. Several big companies have come up with clever ways around the ban that put them right up against the edge of the law. Nike, which is not an Olympic sponsor, ran an ad campaign in which athletes compete in cities called London — only not ones that happen to be the British capital. Locations include London, Ohio, and Little London, Jamaica, and the ads carry slogans that subtly allude to the Olympics without actually naming them. Crafty.
All of this just sounds like a big nuisance. But now the prim old ladies have themselves all in a fine stir about Wimbledon banning their Pimm's brand liquer. Pimm's, the quintessentially English liqueur, cannot be listed on any menus during the games, even at Wimbledon, where tennis is taking place and where Pimm's is the grand tradition as well as strawberries and cream. They are instead serving a similar cocktail and calling it "No. 1 Cup."
What a bloody outrage. Can you just picture Maggie Smith's face in reaction to this?
But at least sitting at home in my living room watching the tennis matches hours after they've actually happened on NBC, I can enjoy my Pimm's.
In case you want to serve one up like Serena you can make the Wimbledon classic by mixing one part Pimm's No. 1 with 3 parts chilled lemonade, add some mint, cucumber, orange and strawberry and serve in a chilled glass with ice.
Cheers darlings!

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