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COMMENT: IOC needs a sense of perspective
9:00am Thursday 17th May 2012 in News
ORGANISATIONS like the IOC and FIFA have to protect the commercial interests of their blue riband events, without question.
Without the millions being pumped in by companies like Coca Cola, the World Cup and Olympics would be greatly different beasts.
And there is the danger rival companies will try guerilla marketing tactics.
But there needs to be common sense and LOCOG, the organising committee for this year’s Games, is in danger of losing sight of what these events are about.
Yes, they are the pinnacle of sporting achievement, but they are also a celebration by the public.
Without the locals feeling a part of the Olympics, it will be a soulless event, no matter how many world records are broken.
You build that sense of engagement with events like the Olympic Torch relay and the associated party Oxford City Council is planning in South Park – the chance for hopefully thousands of people from this city to have their Olympic moment because they will be going nowhere near any stadium or arena.
And, like the Games, this event will be part paid-for by companies operating there.
Yet we have the ridiculous scenario where businesses being asked to cough up £1,000 cannot have their logos on display because LOCOG (and by extension the IOC) fear they would be impinging on the rights of the major corporate sponsors.
But, realistically, what commercial danger will a stall with a local restaurant’s logo in a park in Oxford on a single night present to McDonald’s?