Tag Archives: London Olympics

Rule 40: The “Keep em Poor!” Rule.

29 Jul

It seems that continuing to make the Olympic Sports, especially Track and Field, look like a joke has been the theme of the last few months.  We’ve all followed Symmonds and many of his fellow athletes battles with the IAAF and USATF, but now we’re finally seeing the effect that these fucking stupid unfair advertising rules have on a MUCH larger scale.  A problem of Olympic proportions you might say.

But hey, look on the bright side, it’s not just America screwing it up this time.

Rule 40 (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH RULE 34 of the Internet) was developed by the Olympic Committee to keep the small companies and athletes from profiting help prevent “ambush advertising” as well as helping to preserve the “amateurism” and “integrity” feel of the games.

Rule 34 > Rule 40

First of all if you don’t think the Olympics are a completely commercialized event and really are just about friendly competition and athletic endeavors, wake the hell up.

Not just a game

The rule is set up to make sure the money stays in the hands of the big boys.  Basically, only the major corporations who have spent MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of dollars to be official sponsors of the games, are the only companies with any rights to advertise with the benefit of Olympic association.

Forbes did a really well put-together article here describing some of the odd restrictions these rules have:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2012/07/24/olympic-hurdles-for-advertisers-the-games-unique-rules-and-restrictions/

The “Chips” ban and the ATM restrictions are my favorites in the article, copied and quoted from Forbes below (I gave you credit Forbes so I’m fairly sure this isn’t plagiarism)

  • All 800 Olympic food retailers are banned from serving chips (French fries) during the Games in Britain—except for McDonald’s. A leaked memo reads, “Due to sponsorship obligations with McDonalds, LOCOG have instructed the catering team they are no longer allowed to serve chips on their own anywhere within the Olympic park. The only loophole to this is if it is served with fish.”
  • ATMs at Olympic venues have been replaced by Visa ATMs, as part of an exclusivity deal. This means that those without Visa cards won’t be able take out cash.

That seems fair, right?  So much for equal opportunities for local businesses.

Proud sponsor of the Olympic Games

The rule also prevents the actual athletes from appearing in advertising during the games.  Ok yeah, this probably will not effect Kobe Bryant, Michael Phelps, or Lebron James at all, but what about the athletes who don’t make sickening amounts of money every year? More specifically the athletes whose biggest most important event is the Olympics and really probably the only real opportunity for the athletes to make a significant amount of money with the worldwide exposure.

I’m gunna take a wild guess and assume Female Olympic Archers don’t make 20mil a year from their sport.  (Photo Cred: Gawker)

In conjunction with athletes not being allowed to appear in non-official sponsor advertising, the athletes are also forbidden from doing any kind of advertising through social media.  If an athlete wanted to send a shoutout to “EatRunSwag” (let’s imagine this blog is a real brand for a second) for helping them make it to the Olympics, this would be forbidden.  (Feel free to thank me if you’d like though, Olympians, especially you Mr. Rupp 😉 )

If Rupp said “Thank you (insert sponsor here)!”, VIOLATION. You’re welcome, though.

How do the athletes feel about this?  Check this good collection of Twitter responses below:
http://twitchy.com/2012/07/29/wedemandchange-many-u-s-olympic-track-and-field-athletes-protest-rule-40/

Leo Manzano is particularly upset because the rule prevents him from doing something as simple as describing how much he likes his spikes. RIDICULOUS, HOW DARE HE!!!??

So if a non-major sponsor wouldn’t be able to use a sponsored athlete in any form of advertisement during the Olympics, why the hell would said sponsor have any reason/desire to sponsor the athlete?  This just sets us even further back in the advertising fiasco.   It’s not as if sponsors were jumping at every chance to sponsor track athletes before this rule, and now they’re pretty much being told that if they did sponsor the athletes, they really wouldn’t be able to profit at all from it and could face punishment should they try to. If I was one of those corporations, I guess I wouldn’t waste my time sponsoring the athletes either.  This keeps the money with the major corporations as well as making sure it also stays out of the athletes hands.

Great job Olympic Committee, way to preserve the spirit of the Olympics.

The unofficial slogan goes: “The most important thing is not to win, but to take part!”, well we know who’s winning, and sadly, it’s not the athletes.

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Interviewing Olympians: Emma Coburn

19 Jul

A couple of weeks ago I did a post about how I embarrassed the hell out of myself behind Emma Coburn in 2008.  If you didn’t read, here’s the link:  http://eatrunswag.com/2012/06/19/how-to-creep-out-girls-and-embarrass-yourself-a-re-telling-of-an-unfortunate-event/

Luckily, she thought it was a funny post and allowed me to ask her some interview questions 🙂

So without further adieu, here is my FIRST INTERVIEW WITH AN OLYMPIAN!!

 

 

America’s Sweetheart

If you could choose one place in the world to vacation right now, all expenses paid, where would you go?

Phuket, Thailand! I hear it’s beautiful there and I like hearing other people mispronounce it when they read it.

“Want to go to Thailand?” “Ah, Phuket let’s go”

What’s your favorite movie and why?

Pulp Fiction. I love the multiple story lines and how they all come together. I love the soundtrack. I love the cast. Above my TV in my living room I have a poster of Samuel L Jackson and John Travolta, guns pointed out, about to shoot a fool…. (I don’t even care that it clashes with all the pretty girlie things)

This steepler has a great taste in movies.

Who are some of your favorite athletes?
Aaron Rodgers. My boyfriend Joe is from Wisconsin and made me a Packer fan. I still love my childhood team of the Denver Broncos, but its hard not to love the Packers and Aaron. This tribute video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPdC1ltLWvU) was filmed in Joe’s hometown …it explains why

Maybe not one of my favorite athletes, but one of my favorite mustaches of all time for sure

Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Dogs

Me too. Here’s me with my dog when I was a little tot

What’s your major?
Marketing

This is what you get when you google “Marketing”. Looks fun!

Just so I can get it on record: You forgive me for making a fool out of myself and essentially ruining your NON interview back in 2008? Yes, but its taken 4 years for me to get over that embarrassing moment. (jk)

Me at my finest, scratching my butt, ruining an interview, about to fall

Running Questions:

I’m currently doing a month-long training stint at altitude in Flagstaff, AZ. You went to high school at altitude and live at altitude in college too. Many people have been asking me if training at altitude like I’m doing/you’ve been doing for a long time is worth it. Would you recommend training at altitude to those thinking of trying it? I don’t know if I’m the best person to answer this. I grew up at 9,000 feet so Boulder (at 5,400ft) is like sea level to me. I love it though, I recommend trying it out.

MAGS. Always wanted to try this

What made you want to try the steeple? When I first saw you do it I was a junior in high school at the Great Southwest Meet (where I also ran the steeple). Was that your first taste of the steeple? And have you grown to love it even more since then? I went to the Great Southwest Classic to run an 800 my junior year. We didn’t want to drive all that way to just run 2 laps, but the only other event on a different day was the steeple. So I tried it! I love it now more than ever.

Emma being good at sports. (Photo Cred Mike Scott)

After reading the Runnersworld interview, it sounds like you really have great people/coaches supporting you at Colorado. What made you choose to go to school there, could you tell you’d have that kind of support right away? Every person in my family has gone to CU. I grew up cheering for them and even had a mini CU cheerleading outfit. It was the school I always saw myself at but wasn’t sure if I could be good enough to run there. I looked at other schools, but when Mark called me, I was sold! I’ve always had supportive family and friends, but it was a nice surprise to have that support in the team, coaches and athletic department too.

Running with the Buffaloes

That pic that surfaced of you kissing your boyfriend after the race was pretty adorable. I can’t really think of a faster distance running couple in the NCAA. Is it nice being with somebody who can understand the lifestyle of an elite athlete (him being one too)? Will he be able to make the trip to London?

What you can’t see in that picture is that I am stranding on a 5-foot tall fence. Joe pulled me up! It was a really special moment and I was so happy to get to share it with him. We have been dating since high school and so he has been there from the beginning. He’s seen me go from an 11:30 2-miler in high school to an Olympian…he was there for every step of it. He isn’t an emotional guy but I made him tear up that day! Joe is great because he doesn’t settle for less than his best, and he has passed that trait onto me. He has definitely help make me the best version of myself I can be…on and off the track. And yes, he will be going to London!

Most adorable track picture of the year.

Only a very select few people can answer a question like this, so maybe let us regular people/people still dreaming of this know how it feels: What did it feel like crossing the finish line at the trials knowing you’d be representing the US at the Olympics? For me, it wasn’t a big rush of emotion initially. When I crossed the line, I was really happy obviously, but that race was more business than emotion. I knew what I had to do, and I did it. When I crossed the line, I wasn’t as elated as expected just because I knew I had done my job. But then later, I broke down because I was so happy! Its still weird to think I am an Olympian. Its so surreal!

Olympic Trials Victory SWAG.

After your race, do you plan on trying to see some other non-track events?
I’d love to but I think most events are sold out!

Maybe go see this guy if you can?

Would you like to send any shout-outs or special thanks to anybody?
Shout out to the Coburn fam, Joe and the Bosshard crew!

 

 
Thanks so much for letting me ask you some questions Emma! We can’t wait to see you chase your dreams in London! Best of luck!