IOC updates athlete sponsor rules for Tokyo 2020

LAUSANNE: The IOC Session Wednesday took note of a new set of guiding principles regarding commercial opportunities for participants during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which were approved last week by the IOC executive board.

The Session itself decided on a change to Bye-law 3 of Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter.

Athletes are at the heart of the Olympic Movement, and supporting them at all levels, on and off the field of play, is a priority for the IOC. The principles seek to clarify the commercial opportunities during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and put athletes and other Olympic Games participants in a better position to work with their personal sponsors in a manner consistent with their rights and responsibilities under the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration and the Olympic Charter.

The new principles represent a balance between, on the one hand, protecting and maintaining Olympic marketing programmes to ensure funding of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement, and, on the other hand, the individual athlete’s rights to generate income in relation to their sporting career, name and likeness.

The National Olympic Committees will be responsible for the implementation in their respective territory, while taking into consideration their specific applicable legal framework, and will receive the guidelines soon.

The IOC Session, which met here this week, decided to amend Bye-law 3 of Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter as follows:

“Competitors, team officials and other team personnel 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 in accordance with the principles determined by the IOC Executive Board.”

“The amendments of the Olympic Charter made today (Wednesday) show a clear demonstration of the new approach of the IOC, which is based on openness and flexibility, without infringing the existing agreements. We want to look at this in a positive way and we want to be as liberal as possible without affecting the sponsorships contracts of the NOCs. We are protecting them and that’s why we don’t have a one size fits all solution. I don’t think such a solution exists,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.