Singapore flagged for ambush marketing

Singapore flagged for ambush marketing
Singaporeans rejoice in Joseph Schooling’s historic triumph but experts are not sure about him becoming the next big endorsement.
PHOTO: The New Paper

There are set meals named after him, travel discounts because of his historic achievement, and congratulatory messages put out with brand logos and products alongside his name and face.

Singapore is in celebratory mood after the 21-year-old won the country's first Olympic gold medal, but TNP understands that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has written into the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC), raising the issue of Rule 40.

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HAPPENING NOW: Welcome home Joseph Schooling! Friends and fans gather at Changi Airport to welcome Singapore's pride and joy.

Posted by AsiaOne on Sunday, 14 August 2016

The rule was established to protect official sponsors of the Olympics, prevent over-commercialisation of the Games and ambush marketing which might use athletes to create an unlicensed association with the Olympics.

Sources reveal that after receiving correspondence from the IOC, the SNOC has written to companies asking them to refrain from using Olympic-related images to market their own products.

In response to TNP queries, an SNOC spokesman said: "While we celebrate Joseph's victory, we must also stand guided by the rules and guidelines protecting the assets and marks of the Games. Henceforth, we would like to advise commercial entities to comply with these rules and not infringe or exploit the assets for commercial purposes."

Rule 40 of the IOC charter states that "except as permitted by the IOC executive board, no competitor, team official or other team personnel who participates in the Olympic Games may allow his person, name, picture or sports performances to be used for advertising purposes during the Olympic Games."

Read also: '5039' sold out at 4D outlets as Singaporeans celebrate Schooling's gold medal

Managing director of sports marketing agency Red Card Group, R Sasikumar, said that some companies have gone too far.

"Too many brands are riding on Joseph's coattails not having paid a single dollar to him. Some have taken out full-page ads in the papers, where before they've not supported local sports. This is ambush marketing," he said.

Schooling himself has not even started thinking about riding the wave of his success to the doorsteps of corporations.

"I saw some deals and a tea place offering free tea for me and my family.

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"It's pretty cool and I appreciate that, but right now, I haven't really thought about that (endorsements)," he told TNP.

"This is all still fresh to me, I'm trying to soak up the moment, trying to celebrate this with everyone, let it sink.

"Those endorsement deals and stuff, I'll think about them after this, not now."

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Joseph Isaac Schooling makes his way along Orchard Road

Posted by AsiaOne on Wednesday, 17 August 2016

This article was first published on August 18, 2016.
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