Shaklee Corporation, a long-standing sponsor of Olympic athletes, applauded Wednesday’s statement by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) granting athletes more freedom to advertise and benefit from their performances during the Games.
Until now, members of the U.S. team could not market their competition results during a “blackout period” from the start through the end of the Games. International Olympic Committee (IOC) Rule 40.3 prohibited such activity to bolster the Games’ official sponsors, much to the athletes’ chagrin and loss of revenue.
The new verbiage of IOC Rule 40.3 reads, in part, “Competitors … who participate in the Olympic Games may allow their person, name, picture or sports performances to be used for advertising purposes during the Olympic Games … .”
“U.S. athletes are thrilled with this long overdue policy change,” said Eli Bremer, spokesperson for the Shaklee Pure Performance Team and member of the USOPC Athlete Advisory Council (AAC). “Athletes can now work with sponsors to benefit from the performances that make the Games so universally appealing … and profitable. The AAC helped shape this policy to support U.S. athletes, and it will have a tremendously positive impact on these athletes and their sponsors.”
The Shaklee Pure Performance Team consists of 90+ athletes from more than 25 sports.
Julie Garlikov, Shaklee’s chief marketing officer, sees the change as a win-win-win for the athletes, the sponsors and the Games. “Shaklee has supported hundreds of inspirational athletes since 1980, and so many of them need the financial and marketing boost that this new policy allows. We expect to sponsor 50 or more athletes in Tokyo, many of whom are Shaklee business owners, and all of whom deserve this in-the-moment spotlight that could be the highlight of their lives. The worldwide audience surely understands and supports these heroes in this well-deserved change.”
Bremer, who competed in the Modern Pentathlon in Beijing in 2008, foresees a more personal connection between the athletes and the public. “We hear complaints about over-commercialization of the Games, but in an ironic way, this new policy will allow athletes and their sponsors to celebrate the victories with their faithful fan base in a way that will help the athletes before, after, and now during their shining moments.,” he said.