Written by Nick Heer.

Don’t Mention the Games

The Olympic Games begin today in Rio, but if you’re thinking about tweeting about it from a business account in the United States, you should know that the USOC is cracking down on such flagrant misuses of Olympic intellectual property such as mentioning the Games at all. Christine Birkner, AdWeek:

While individuals, news media and official sponsors are generally free to post about the games and athletes during the Olympics, other businesses and brands are essentially locked out from anything close to a direct discussion.

Summarizing its many brand restrictions, which you can see detailed below, the USOC warns businesses: “Do not create social media posts that are Olympic themed, that feature Olympic trademarks, that contain Games imagery or congratulate Olympic performance unless you are an official sponsor as specified in the Social Media Section.”

The list of brand restrictions includes prohibitions on using the names of Olympic cities, hashtags associated with Olympic trademarks — the list is long — posting results from any Olympic event, or retweeting officially-sanctioned Olympic posts. Seems a little harsh, doesn’t it?