The British Olympic Association (BOA) and a group of athletes represented by the legal firm Brandsmiths have reached an agreement in relation to the interpretation of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Rule 40 in the United Kingdom.
Following a challenge to the BOA’s Rule 40 position in November 2019, the BOA has agreed to provide a greater level of commercial freedom to athletes whilst preserving the BOA’s unique funding model, with new guidelines to be published in due course.
The guidelines will include increased multiple opportunities for athletes to endorse – via ‘thank you’ messages – their personal sponsors during the Games period.
And also a move to a process of deemed consent for athletes and their sponsors in relation to Games-time marketing campaigns.
The move to deemed consent – whereby athletes do not now have to formally submit all marketing materials for approval (but are still required to notify) – has been further supplemented by a relaxation of the ‘in-market’ period, defining the dates by which a campaign has to be visible to the public.
The BOA anticipates the publication of newly revised Rule 40 guidelines in full in March.
Rule 40 is an IOC rule designed to support and protect the IOC’s ability to host the Olympic Games and support solidarity funding of athletes across the globe.
The IOC distributes 90% of its revenues to Organising Committees, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, athletes and athlete programmes.