Why are the Olympic Games a crucial event for IP?

From February 9 to 25, 2018, the Olympic Games are taking place in Pyeongchang, in South Korea. Athletes from all around the world are present to represent their country…and their brands!

A golden opportunity for brand marketing

The Olympic Games are the most viewed event in the world (e.g. the Rio 2016 Olympic Games were watched by half the world’s population). Therefore, this type of event is particularly important for brands to showcase their products and most athletes are sponsored by famous brands.

For example, five-time Olympic French champion Martin Fourcade uses Rossignol skis. In the Rossignol factory located near Grenoble, France, everybody follows his races and cheers his unbelievable performances. He is also their brand ambassador for their first urban cloth collection. “During his races, Martin wears products that will be sold in September. There is no greater advertisement for our products, and it is a guarantee of quality” explains Bruno DUSSER, one of Rossignol directors.

Thirty pairs of skis were produced for Martin’s Olympic Games. They are adapted to Pyeongchang specific conditions: the snow, the temperature, the weather… To protect their inventions, Rossignol filed many patents. They also registered many trademarks such as this figurative mark:

The main source of funding for the Games

The International Olympic Committee handles many forms of IP rights to protect their Olympic anthem, their famous flag with the five Olympic rings, and of course pictures from the competition. The media is ready to pay significant sums to have exclusive right to report or broadcast their competition. Image and media rights represent almost half of the International Olympic Committee income and it is used to finance the following Olympic Games.

Paris is hosting the Olympic Games in 2024, and negotiations for media rights are already on-going!

Hosting the Games  

Hosting the Olympic Games strengthens a country on the international scene and boost its tourism. Nevertheless, to run such an event requires a considerable organization and significant cost.

On the IP front, many countries such as France have enacted specific legislation to fight against counterfeiting of Olympic properties and rights, in addition to their national IP law. IP protection measures is one of the requirements to be selected as host country.

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