Athletes on Attack Over Oppressive Olympics Endorsement Restrictions

Rule forbids competitors to promote sponsors who aren't officially connected to the games.


Nike raised eyebrows last week when it commenced a not-so-subtle guerrilla marketing campaign that poked fun not just at the Olympics, where it is not advertising, but also Adidas, its rival that paid tens of millions of dollars to be an official sponsor at the London Games.

Now, some of Nike's biggest track and field stars are complaining about rules that limit their ability to promote the companies that help them pay their bills. On Sunday, Sanya Richards-Ross, Nick Symmonds and other Olympians who are sponsored by Nike took to Twitter to criticize Rule 40, an International Olympic Committee regulation that prevents athletes from advertising for non-Olympic sponsors just before and during the Games.