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Olympics Attendees May Wear All the Non-Sponsor Apparel They Wish

Despite what the LOCOG chief said on the radio, Pepsi and Nike gear will not be banned at the London games.


Spectators at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London who choose to wear non-sponsor merchandise shouldn't be worried about being denied entrance to event venues after all.

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During a Friday BBC radio appearance, London organizing committee chief Sebastian Coe raised eyebrows when he declared that "you probably wouldn’t be walking in with a Pepsi T-shirt because Coca-Cola are our sponsors and they have put millions of pounds into this project but also millions of pounds into grass roots sport. It is important to protect those sponsors.”

Coe's comments left the LOCOG scrambling Friday to put out a fact sheet clarifying the rules, the Associated Press reports, informing the public that “Any individual coming into our venues can wear any item of clothing, branded or otherwise." What will be a problem, however, is any attempt to orchestrate an ambush marketing campaign (e.g. that Bad Boys Bail Bonds guy at every San Jose Sharks game) with groups of people wearing items that are clearly intended to market a non-Olympic sponsor.

While the official list of prohibited items is fairly standard (no firearms, explosives, or toxic materials) the list of "restricted items" is more broad. That list includes oversized hats, excessive amounts of food, and flags from non-participating countries.

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