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Regional Business News
regarding the 2010 Olympics
in British Columbia, Canada
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especially in Vancouver / Whistler and throughout B.C. We also
hope companies in Alberta and United States (i.e. Washington, Oregon,
Idaho, Montana and California) will find OlyBLOG interesting and informative.
IOC Censors Olympic Athletes
BAN on BLOGGING was ordered by the IOC (International Olympic
Committee) for Olympic athletes, coaches, trainers and support staff in
Athens. If censorship didn't have such serious ramifications it would
The backlash could be nasty for an already wobbly IOC and end up being
a controversial blunder on par with former IOC president Samaranch's statement
several years ago that the number of drugs on the doping list was too
The reason given by the IOC regarding the BLOG BAN was that BLOGGING would
undermine the value of licensing agreements signed with television and
other communication and media networks. IOC president Jacques Rogge issued
the ban February 2004, but so far it hasn't been enforced.
I doubt very much the IOC is too concerned that BLOGGING will "directly"
devalue television licensing. Television is and will be for a long time
the best medium to experience the action of the Games and as such it stands
on its own unfazed by all other media. It's more likely the IOC and sponsors
are concerned about what athletes, coaches, trainers and staff will reveal
about the inner workings of an organization rife with cheating judges,
bribery scandals and rampant doping. Censorship is the real issue here.
BLOGGING has the potential to pull aside the PR sports curtain to reveal
the Wizard of OZ. A similar scenario unfolded many years ago regarding
major record labels and music artists. Loss of spin control, not revenue
was the primary motivation even though record execs tried in vain to convince
the public otherwise.
Whether sports or rock fans, it's the same PR model. The only difference
is that BLOGGING can't easily compress a sports performance into an MP3
and broadcast it real-time online, at least not yet. But what BLOGGING
can do is give athletes (gold, silver, bronze, PLUS charismatic runners
up) direct access to the fan base - a fan base with only so much disposable
income and time. The Olympic sport fan is heavily comprised of the 18-34
male demographic, a group that also spends more time on the Internet than
they do watching television. Women in this demographic represent about
50% of the internet viewing share, but not necessarily regarding sports.
Although in some Olympic sports they far exceed men in their viewership
online, like figure skating for instance. Keeping an eye on the Games
from the office is common for men and women.
If I were the IOC I'd be scared about BLOGGING too because if athletes
do it properly, Olympian Fan Clubs could easily go big time. It would
provide starving athletes a source of revenue through "B" line
SMB (small and midsize business) sponsorships that never had even a slim
chance of being on the IOC roster. "B" line sponsors can't afford
TOPS sky high fees ($60 mil) and have been forced to sit on the sidelines
at every Olympic event. It is now possible for "SOHO 01001 Software"
or "Float My Boat" kayak manufacturing to have a shot at leveraging
Olympic momentum. Oh yeah baby. Pitch it right across the plate. Homerun.
Stealth mode ambush marketing on steroids. (You heard it here first)
According to the Associated
Press, the IOC feels that athletes and their support teams should
not serve as journalists. How inanely ridiculous. Based on that argument,
what's next, preventing us from playing street hockey? Jogging would have
to be banned too along with beach volleyball and a friendly game of pick
up because it would water down the brand.
A BLOGGING battle will erupt if the IOC pushes the ban. The last thing
the already tarnished organization needs is the wrath of athletes raining
down on them - athletes by the way who are respected and worshipped rabidly
by sports fans and billions of patriotic citizens. Athletes are the reason
fans pour billions of dollars into Olympic coffers. In more ways than
you might realize athletes can be compared to music artists who have been
fighting greedy record companies for better treatment and a fair share
of the wealth.
The odds of cashing in on a Gold Olympic medal are worse than the lottery
when you consider all the kids out there pinning their dreams on one one-hundredth
of a second in a race ten years down the road, not to mention their parents
who collectively sink millions of dollars into training, travel and equipment.
Dollars which could go to an education and offer a better chance at a
better overall lifestyle. Ahh, there's nothing like reliving your childhood
vicariously through your kids. Seriously . . . there's nothing wrong with
the dream because it's better than getting in trouble on the streets,
but if all these families are going to sink their life and their life
savings into it they should at least share more fairly and equally in
the bounty. No matter what the IOC dictates or tries to convince us of,
the Olympics at all stages is a business as well as a lifestyle. Only
naive sports fans miss this point.
Athletes starve so sponsors like Coca Cola, Bell and McDonald's can make
billions of dollars riding their backs. BTW, should companies that sell
unhealthy, fattening, sugar-laced products even be allowed to sponsor
sporting events? What happened to truth in advertising? Do you really
think Olympic Gold medalists feel good about shilling "Big Macs"
and greasy fries? Is this the food of champions? Don't even get me started
on Visa's highway robbery credit card interest rates. Is it possible to
have an ethical Olympics the same way you can invest in shares of ethical
companies? Since when did athletes have a say in what the IOC could or
could not align with the Olympian credo? Without the athletes the NBC
and CBC would be videotaping empty stadiums, which in fact they did in
Athens so they should keep this in mind.
I don't blame the IOC for trying to censor athletes because once sports
fans and the general public are privy to a more accurate depiction of
what happens behind Olympic scenes the IOC could lose considerable negotiating
power. Instead of censorship though, a better solution would be to clean
up the corruption and share the wealth more fairly with athletes. It's
time for a radical business model makeover.
Besides, it's not just Olympic athletes the IOC should worry about. The
guy writing the following BLOG was supposedly a security supervisor in
Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Games. If
you want to get a feel for what it's really like to work security as an
Olympic volunteer click
here and scroll down to Random Olympic Memories. You'll be surprised,
and amused. This guy does more for international relations than all diplomats
in history combined.
The IOC censorship issue should be interesting. Stay tuned.
Scott GoldBlatt - Olympian
& BLOGGER! Click
Maritza Correia - Olympic
Troy Dumas - Olympian
& BLOGGER! Click
Reid Stott - Olympic
Photo BLOGGER Click
Maybe this is the kind of attention the IOC is trying
ATHENS police used tear gas August 27 against more
than 2,000 people who started fires, trashed storefronts and attacked
journalists in downtown Athens. Read
more . . .
to let me know of other Olympic BLOGS
*Ed. Note: We invested over three years and a six-figure budget researching
Olympic organization relationships with sponsors, contractors, suppliers,
partners, etc. The results surprised us too -- mouseover below
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Learn more about the challenges small
businesses face. Leverage
Olympic organizations are
BIG BUSINESS MACHINES that attract corporations like Kodak,
CocaCola, McDonald's, Wal*Mart, etc. Consequently, VANOC (Vancouver
Organizing Committee) will be stretched thin trying to also develop ways
to assist small and midsize businesses leverage Olympic momentum. Surprisingly,
many people don't realize the event can also be lucrative for smaller
businesses including agriculture, manufacturers, entertainment, technology,
retail & obviously tourism, even when they don't have products
or services that appeal to Olympic fans or serve a direct Olympic need.
The information we share here is invaluable in helping
small and midsize businesses leverage Olympic momentum.
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