Vancouver Olympics Unhappy With 'Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 and 2011 Edition' Slogan

from the oh-really? dept

We've been covering how the Olympics has been able to get various governments around the world to grant it extra special intellectual property protection on certain words and phrases, with the upcoming Vancouver Olympics being no exception. In that case, you have to be careful of the use of "Vancouver," "Olympics," and even "2010." So, clothing maker Lululemon decided to come up with a line that mocks these restrictions, with a brand new line of clothing called:
"Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 and 2011 Edition."
Note how careful the company is to avoid any of the restricted words. Nicely done.

Of course, guess who isn't happy? Reader Joe McEnaney alerts us to the news that, even though the Vancouver Olympics can't officially do anything to Lululemon, it has decided to try shaming the company instead, expressing disappointment that the company has "has broken the spirit of Olympic trademark regulations." Of course, even so, the Olympic officials seem to misunderstand what's going on here. They claim:
"We expected better sportsmanship from a local Canadian company than to produce a clothing line that attempts to profit from the Games but doesn't support the Games or the success of the Canadian Olympic team."
But, of course, that's not what's going on here at all. They're not trying to profit off of the Olympic Games. They're trying to profit off of the ridiculous free speech restrictions put in place by the Olympics for no good reason.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 7:46am

    The Olympics

    it's no longer about the game, but about the money. Greed has corrupted this once great sporting event, and I, for one, will not watch any coverage of the games.

    The boardmembers of the IOC have broken the spirit of the games, where competing was more important than winning.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Brian (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 7:52am

    Re: The Olympics

    And I will be avoiding anything Olympic as well

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    lavi d (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 8:49am

    All I Can Say...

    "Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 and 2011 Edition."

    Well played!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    LumpyDog (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 9:01am

    Yes, they must feel awful for breaking the spirit of absurd trademark regulations.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 9:04am

    "They're trying to profit off of the ridiculous free speech restrictions...."

    Considering how few of these shits will actually sell, as the vast majority of people won't get it and would not care about the issue even after it was explained to them... I highly doubt this was done for any profit. I think it was done solely as commentary on the ridiculousness of this situation.

     

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  6.  
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    a-dub (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    Oh how unpatriotic of you to attempt to disrupt our revenue stream!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Jimr (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 9:37am

    They must be terrorist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 9:38am

    Re:

    "Considering how few of these shits will actually sell"

    And the unintended typo of the day award goes to....

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Dave, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 9:39am

    I'll take 3, anyone got a link to these?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    TSO, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 9:52am

    > "We expected better sportsmanship from a local Canadian company than to produce a clothing line that attempts to profit from the Games but doesn't support the Games or the success of the Canadian Olympic team."

    News exposure for Lululemon: free

    A minute of hearty laugh: priceless

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Greg, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 9:55am

    shirts

    Do you think I'll get sued if I start marketing a line of 'The IOC board are a bunch of douchebags' shirts?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    BigKeithO, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    Re:

    Won't sell? Have you ever seen an ass in Lululemon pants?!? You should be doing everything in your power to make sure that these sell, for the good of mankind of course.

    http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?p=21687814

    Some nice pics on there if you care to be enlightened.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    william (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:07am

    It's never about the game or the sport or the competition anymore.

    The IOC is currently the biggest bully around town, and they are the one to talk about sportsmanship?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:07am

    Re: shirts

    to direct, to borrow a bit (read this as... a lot) try this instead "Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 and 2011 board members are a bunch of bags for douches." Would make a great second edition for the shirt...

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    More like:

    Another stupid protest that happens for about 15 minutes on the internet by whiners who can't accept the majority decision of democracy.

    Mike, stop giving these idiots airtime, it only encuorages them to continue to be stupid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    Ryan (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Re: shirts

    Of course you'll get sued, that's how money is made now a days right? How pathetic!

    However a shirt with that statement would surely sell looooooooooots of T's :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Pitabred (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: The Olympics

    I'll put my hat into the ring doing the same

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Designerfx (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:11am

    lululemon

    I've been to one of those, and they're quite a good place! They have a calendar of stuff they do around each month involving free yoga classes and they have stuff that my girlfriend absolutely adores. guys, buy your girl a gift there and reap the reward of your girl wearing yoga pants/panties. Not a sponsor here, but I dig it.


    Maybe we should change the IOC message? We should say this: ""We expected better sportsmanship from the IOC whom instead attempts to profit from the Games but doesn't support the Games or the success of the Canadian Olympic team."

    cut a couple words and voila! the IOC explained.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Bob, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:27am

    Free advertising

    This is pretty much just another advertising stunt by Lululemon. No doubt they "reported" this "controversy" themselves to the media. Goes right along with their past stunts like writing derogatory graffiti on their stores so people think they're being targeted by vandals.

    Don't bother wasting any more of your time giving them the free advertising they want.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:29am

    Typical

    Anyone who knows Lululemon, knows that this is typical of their marketing dept. Kind of refreshing, if you ask me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:33am

    "It's never about the game or the sport or the competition anymore.

    The IOC is currently the biggest bully around town, and they are the one to talk about sportsmanship?"


    +10

    Yep - the nerve of them talking about 'sportmanship' if they don't make 100% of the profits, they cry like babies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    dear USOC:
    please note my request to cap any future bids to host any multinationally attended series of sporting events which are held every four years to a total limit of $5.00USD and one small packet of planters peanuts (not to exceed 6oz) per contestant.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    ., Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    This turns me off a lot.

    They killed the spirit of the olympics because of greedy.

    Not talking about the t-shirt the other guys.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:56am

    "We expected better sportsmanship from a local Canadian company than to produce a clothing line that attempts to profit from the Games but doesn't support the Games or the success of the Canadian Olympic team."

    Hmmm, seeing as taxpayer dollars are being used to subsidize the "Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 and 2011" and seeing as Lululemon is a Canadian company that pays taxes, I would say that Lululemon has supported the Cool Sporting Event and the Canadian Cool Sporting Event team.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 10:59am

    CTV have been advertising the Olympics "can I use the word?" for so long now, pretty much every commercial break, that I am so sick and tired of it that I don't know if I can even stomach watching the actual event itself. I used to book vacation time around watching the damned thing in the past.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Dementia (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Re:

    I rather see him stop giving your comments airtime, but it's his blog, so let him make the decisions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 11:37am

    Just realized I need to do something

    Oh man... I just realized that the Olympics are going to be on TV. I wonder what I'm going to do now that my favorite shows won't be on TV for a few weeks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Alan Gerow (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 11:37am

    How is a clothing company expected to show better sportsmanship? Doesn't it require actually participating in a sport to conduct sportsmanship?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Steve, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    The IOC. If there's a buck to be made and we can't have a cut, then we'll stop you from making that buck.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Steve, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    The IOC. If there's a buck to be made and we can't have a cut, then we'll stop you from making that buck.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Just realized I need to do something

    Nevermind, I just realized it would be on NBC. Whew!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Johnny Canada, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Just realized I need to do something

    There will be a good comedy on FOX .... It is called the evening news.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    Casey (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    Re:

    It was definitely done for profit. The colours of the clothing that is being sold reflect the national colours of the expected 4 biggest players in the winter Olympics: Canada, USA, Sweden, and Russia.

    It's also kinda funny that the zippers on the Canadian-coloured apparel are gold and on the USA-coloured apparel they are silver...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Casey (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

    Re: The Olympics

    I'm going to see the medal ceremonies with Trooper and Loverboy playing. That will be my contribution to the Olympic movement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    redrum, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    I just wanna see Lindsay Vonn in a pair of those pants..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Designerfx (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Free advertising

    where do you come up with this crap? How do you suppose the IOC statement came around if it was lululemon that reported it? IOC would have ignored it, probably.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Chris Brand, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    free paper notes "free advertising" angle

    The free "24hrs" paper (apparently http://vancouver24hrs.ca/ - but I can't get there from work) has an article today headlined "Lululemon wins marketing gold" noting that "VANOC's helping them get their name in the news", "It may even inspire others", and "The more VANOC whines about it [...] it's going to make Lululemon look even better".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Joe, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    their response is interesting

    This was a bit of a trap. If Lululemon's response confirmed this clothing line was regarding the Olympics, that's the back door into a lawsuit. But they handled it well, their spokesperson Eric Petersen said this:

    --------------

    “We sat in a room and people were going, ‘Let’s put 2010 on it, let’s put Vancouver on it,’” he said. “And we said, ‘You can’t do that. You can’t say this.’

    “We went through the litany of things you cannot say and started throwing out a bunch of things we felt we could say that were respectful of the rules and regulations.”

    According to Petersen, the clothing is aimed at any of the sporting events in the 2009 to 2011 window such as the World Junior Hockey Championships.

    “We would never do anything that we felt was ambush marketing,” he added.

    -----------
    source:http://www.canada.com/life/Lululemon+irks+Olympic+officials+with+rogue +clothing+line/2347227/story.html

    So overall - good play to Lululemon. They stayed within the law, made fun of some overbearing restrictions and got a great marketing coup as well.

    As an aside, in their hoodie line of clothes, the Canadian hoodies have gold zippers and the american ones have silver zippers :)





    As an aside,

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    What the ???, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:30pm

    Re:

    "the majority decision of democracy."

    Please explain

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Free advertising

    Yes, because no one else ever gets free advertising with such stunts - huh ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Glenn Beck, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Just realized I need to do something

    Hey - you terrorist ... you should be in Guantanamo

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 5:53pm

    I would have to say this is one of those cases where Mike has been used by a group not looking for anything other than free exposure and a chance to thumb their noses for cash.

    FAIL!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    1234, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 8:48pm

    Re:

    Actually it looks more like a win, unless you are from Bizarro world

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 2:04am

    Re: The Olympics

    spirit of the game? It's just more bread and better games. Or is that better bread and more games?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 8:00am

    Re: free paper notes "free advertising" angle

    Are they going to get sued by the IOC for using the word "gold"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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