The buzz is building as the summer Olympics are on the horizon. The anticipation, the triumphs and the defeats create an irresistible human drama that captivates the hearts and souls of people around the world. Imagine tapping into that zeitgeist for your business to build your team, build your brand and to build sales. Let’s explore how to get your organization onto the winners podium. 

First things first: Can I promote alongside the Olympics if I’m not an official licensee? 

Using official Olympics branding, such as the Olympics icon or the 2024 games logo, or claiming partnership when you have not paid the licensing fees can get you into big trouble, the simple truth is you can still go for the gold, you just have to be careful how you do it. The most important rule to know is that while you can promote around the event, you cannot imply a connection TO the event. 

See our review of Olympic branding and brand association guidelines with examples of acceptable and unacceptable use HERE.

So, what can I do to tap into Olympic excitement? 

The Olympics bring out the competitive spirit, but for businesses, navigating brand association can be a hurdle. Fear not! Here’s how to leverage the excitement with promotional merchandise and branded apparel for your unlicensed Olympic-themed events: 

Sales Campaigns: 

  • Theme it Up: Choose a color scheme inspired by the host city’s flag or national colors. 
  • “Gold Standard” Sales: Reward top sellers with gold-colored medals or trophies (not Olympic rings!). 
  • “Gear Up for Success” Kits: Offer limited-edition water bottles, gym bags, or notebooks branded with your logo and motivational slogans like “Go for the Gold” or “Reach Your Podium.” 

Sales Contests: 

  • Team Spirit Challenge: Divide your sales team into “countries” and award points for exceeding goals. Give winning teams branded T-shirts or hats with their “country” name. 
  • “Global Pursuit” Contest: Track progress on a world map, marking wins with pins featuring your logo. The top seller gets a “Champion’s Prize” – high-quality headphones, a fitness tracker, etc. 
  • Weekly “Victories” Recognition: Celebrate weekly sales wins by awarding small, branded prizes. Think keychains, stress balls, or phone stands with motivational quotes. 

Team Building: 

  • “Olympic Games” with a Twist: Organize friendly games unrelated to the Olympics (think scavenger hunts, relay races). Award custom-designed medals or certificates to the winning team. 
  • “Building Champions” Workshops: Host workshops on communication, teamwork, or goal setting. Provide branded notebooks, pens, or tote bags for participants. 
  • “Unity Wall”: Set up a wall where team members write messages of encouragement or share their goals. Offer branded sticky notes for this activity. 

Trade Show Events: 

  • Eye-Catching Booth: Design your booth using colors and themes inspired by the host city. Offer branded giveaways like portable phone chargers or sunglasses to attract visitors. 
  • Interactive Games: Engage visitors with interactive games like trivia (not Olympic-themed) or mini-competitions. Offer branded prizes for winners. 
  • “Expert Series” Talks: Host talks by industry experts. Provide branded water bottles or notebooks for attendees to take notes. 


  • Focus on your Brand: Keep your logo and messaging prominent on all merchandise and apparel. 
  • Get Creative: Think outside the box! Use colors, themes, and motivational slogans to capture the Olympic spirit without infringing on trademarks. 
  • Have Fun! The key is to create a positive, competitive atmosphere that boosts morale and brand awareness. 
Published On: May 8th, 2024 / Categories: Marketing Strategy / Tags: , /