The Olympics – Social Media Do’s and Dont’s for your brand

London Olympics 2012 - Does and Don'ts

As we are all aware, the Olympics are just around the corner. Naturally, you will want to encourage the athletes, mention the Olympics and engage in social media discussion surrounding this incredible event. The LOCOG have provided best practice guidance on how non-sponsoring brands should and shouldn’t engage with the Olympics on social media. Follow this essential socialympics marketing tips to make sure your brand is abiding by the rules!


You Can: (if it’s not completely out of content for your brand to make a comment on a sporting event):

– Provide relevant, accurate and factual information;

– Report on the facts of an event (e.g. The Olympics starts tomorrow!)

– State when an event is taking place (e.g. the 100m race starts in 10 minutes)

You Should:

Moderate pictures, video or audio from events to be posted on your social media sites by applying the special rules applying to participants and attendees as you would any other potentially copyright infringing content.

Update moderation guidelines to cater for the Olympics legislation;

Consider re-tweets in the same way as your own tweets when applying these restrictions;

Be cautious, moderate and appropriate when linking to any content that refers to the Olympics.  Linking rules to London2012.com have been published by LOCOG in section 5 of their terms of use.

You Shouldn’t:

– Use the Olympic symbols, the words ‘Olympics’, ‘Paralympics’ or any derivation of those words;

– Use the Listed Expressions (2 from List A or one from each list)

– List A : “games”, “two thousand and twelve”, “2012”and “twenty twelve”;

– List B: “gold”, “silver”, “bronze”, “London”, “medals”, “sponsor” and “summer”.

You Mustn’t:

– Run a marketing campaign to get your brand associated with the Olympics;

– Encourage Olympics themed-responses from your community;

– Run a competition for Olympics tickets;

– Give specific expressions of support (e.g. “Go Team GB in London 2012!”) or excitement/enthusiasm suggesting a connection with the brand (e.g. “everyone here at Brand X so excited about the Olympics!”)

– Mention a specific product or service in connection with the Games (e.g. “London 2012 athletes should drink Brand X for energy”)

– Sponsor London 2012 broadcasts or reports

Image: Olympics (Photo Courtesy of Beth Sutherland on Flickr)

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