Proud to (unofficially) support our regional representatives and the international sporting event currently taking place on the west coast

Posted on February 15th, 2010

You'll never get a sponsor to pay $200 million for the privilege of slapping five rings next to their logo if every marketer in the country can do it for free. I totally get that. Boo ambush marketing. It's as low as the guy who signs the birthday card but refuses to chip in for a present (coughJamiecough).

Still, there's protecting your brand and then there's being a bad sport, whether by making attendees cover up T-shirts bearing non-sponsor logos or banning a teenager from wearing a memorial bracelet created to honour her dead friend. The Olympic and Paralympics Marks Act was special interest legislation created at the behest of VANOC to supersede existing trademark and copyright law. Long story short, they own all the words you'd expect ("Olympics," "Vancouver Games," "Faster, Higher, Stronger") and a few so generic ("sponsors," "games," "tenth", "winter" and "2010") you can't write today's date without breaking the law. If you're a credit card company, now is probably not the best time to launch your new Gold Card.

And, yes, they really did trademark part of our national anthem. So I couldn't help but be amused when Lululemon introduced a clothing line called Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 & 2011 Edition.

Having said all that, while the business side might leave a bad taste in my mouth, I'm as excited about the actual Games as everyone else. We were glued to the set during the opening ceremony and watching the Canadian women's hockey team destroy poor Slovakia (18-0) with my seven-year-old daughter was one of the highlights of my weekend.


P.S. I know the title sucks. I was honestly too burned out from two solid weeks of sixteen-hour days to think of anything better.

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