One word. Three syllables. Rhymes with “clicks.” There’s a big sports event this month. I can’t mention its name, location, or even specific precious metals, or Brandology risks being sued by the organizing body.
Really. I’m not making this up.
All words, hashtags, pictures, and even congratulations related to the competition are legally off limits to everyone except full sponsors. Everywhere. Including social media.
Companies that sponsor an athlete—but not the event—are forbidden from sharing updates. The athletes themselves are restricted. A business cannot retweet a sponsor’s tweet without legal consequences.
This is a fascinating example of not understanding the power of social media. On the surface, these rules appear to protect sponsors by ensuring non-sponsors don’t steal their thunder. In reality, they reduce the event’s exposure and diminish the value of sponsorships.
Social media is a powerhouse for sports. Each year, over 60% of fans use it to talk about games, athletes and sponsors. Not this month if you’re a business. 78% of brand engagement on Twitter comes from retweets. Not now.
Sharing is the engine that drives social’s enormous impact. I believe organizers and official sponsors have lost far more in awareness, brand building, and positive connections than they have gained by protecting their intellectual property.
Sources: Adweek 2016, Business Side of Sports 2016, Chicago Tribune 2016, Inc. 2016, Media Daily News 2016