Social Media & The Olympics: Tread Lightly, Friends!

The Olympics is on its way to setting the internet on fire. What a perfect opportunity for brands to join a global conversation! Unfortunately, posting about The Olympics has SEVERAL restrictions when it comes to copyright infringement. We suggest you go for the gold when it comes to content creation, but make sure you read this list and check it twice before you hit "post". 

1. Businesses can't use any of the Olympics' trademarked words or phrases. These terms include:

  • Olympic
  • Olympian
  • Team USA
  • Future Olympian
  • Gateway to gold
  • Go for the gold
  • Let the games begin
  • Paralympic
  • Pan Am Games
  • Olympiad
  • Paralympiad
  • Pan-American

2. You can't use terms that reference the location of the Olympics, such as:

  • Road to Rio
  • Road to Pyeongchang
  • Road to Tokyo
  • Rio 2016
  • Pyeongchang 2018
  • Tokyo 2020

3. You must not use words that incorporate the word "Olympic," such as Mathlympics, Aqualympics, Chicagolympics, Radiolympics, etc.

4. You can't use hashtags that include Olympics trademarks such as #TeamUSA or #Rio2016.

5. You cannot use any official Olympics logos.

6. You cannot post any photos taken at the Olympics. (While not mentioned on the USOC's brand guidelines site, this rule is mentioned in a letter written by USOC chief marketing officer Lisa Baird and obtained by ESPN.) 

7. You can't feature Olympic athletes in your social posts.

8. You can't even wish them luck.

9. Don't post any Olympics results.

10. You can't share anything from official Olympics social media accounts. Even retweets are prohibited.

11. No creating your own version of Olympic symbols, "whether made from your own logo, triangles, hexagons, soda bottle tops, onion rings, car tires, drink coasters, basketballs, etc."

12. "Do not host an Olympic- or Paralympic-themed contest or team-building event for employees."

Experts' advice to non-sponsor businesses? Tweet very carefully.

Read more here from our friends at AdWeek. Happy posting!

Post by Margot Dukes