New social media law for 2024 Olympic athletes

South Korea
May 13, 2024

Keeping in mind the unprecedented access to the events and the social media platform access of the athletes lives and activities during the Olympics moments, The International Olympic Committee has released its official social media Guidelines legal compliance for the brands and sponsors, to access the Paris Olympic Games 2024 and the winter youth Olympic Games, Gangwon 2024. The new rules have been set for the athletes, the Olympic and Non- Olympic partners.

The Guidelines have been designed following consultation with the stakeholders, in particular Media Rights-holders (MRHs), and incorporating feedback from athletes based on experience from previous Olympic Games editions. The Guidelines shall help the athletes to communicate with their fans about their experiences at the Olympic Games while protecting the rights of the MRHs.

During the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the participants were encouraged to share their experiences with fans, with limitations. The social media audio or video content from the areas used for sporting competition and non-public areas, was limited, for the most part, to still photos intended for noncommercial, personal use. Athletes were not allowed to share video content from certain restricted areas because that could potentially violate broadcasters’ rights. Furthermore, the rules maintained that all social media postings had to be in a first-person, diary-type format, as opposed to reporting content made at the request of a media organization.

Noncompliance would lead to removal of the content, and depending on the circumstances, further actions by the IOC or the National Olympic Committee.

Rules for Olympians or the athletes -

The IOC has loosened its regulations, as the committee recently announced new guidance for the 2024 Olympic Games. Athletes in Paris will be permitted to post non-commercial video content up to two minutes in length on their social media accounts, so long as it is not live or AI-generated. Also, unlike previous games, participants’ photos and videos may include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, celebrations in the Champions Park, life in the Olympic Village, as well as experiences in training and competition venues, in accordance with the rules published by the IOC.

There is additional guidance surrounding the timing of posts and athlete consent. For example, athletes are permitted to post up to one hour before their competitive events or after they have left the mixed zone and the anti-doping area. They will also be required to obtain permission from all other competitors included in content posted from the Olympic Village.

New Rules for Non-Olympic Partners -

The 2024 guidelines distinguish between (1) Olympic Partners – the official 2024 Olympic media rights-holders and brands that have a sponsorship or official merchandise licensing contracts with the IOC, the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee, or National Olympic Committees; and (2) Non-Olympic Partners – all other brands.

Non-Olympic Partners, including those who sponsor individual athletes, can engage in “Generic Advertising”-

● If they have permission from the relevant athlete.

● No Olympic properties are used in the advertisement.

● The content respects the policies of the IOC.

● The advertisement is considered ‘Generic advertising’.

The IOC defines Generic Advertising, meeting requirements:

● The advertisements should use the image of the Athlete or the participant.

● The advertisement should be in the market 90 days prior to the Olympic games.

● The advertisement must be consistent and not just escalated during the games.

The IOC will apply these factors flexibly in allowing the Games “to support athletes competing in other competitions and to enable ‘business-as-usual’ campaigns.” The companies shall submit all proposed Generic Advertising campaigns that are planned for the Games period prior, to the IOC for review.

All other individuals accredited to the Olympic Games Paris 2024, including coaches, technical staff, entourage members, team officials, volunteers, personnel of National Olympic Committees (NOCs), International Federations (IFs) or the Organizing Committee and other team personnel who take part in the Games, must comply with the “IOC Social and Digital Media Guidelines for Accredited Individuals other than Athletes Participating at the Olympic Games Paris 2024”.


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