OSTERMUNDIGEN, Switzerland (BRAIN) Thursday May 24 2012 3:06 PM MT—The International Olympic Committee has relaxed rules for branding on bikes used in the Olympics, lifting a rule that restricted bikes to having just one logo of no more than 60 square centimeters (about 3 inches square).
The new rule, negotiated by the UCI and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry, allows one frame manufacturer's logo on each side of the bike. There is no specific size restriction except that the logo be the same size as "commercially available and/or used in UCI races." A model name and a "UCI-approved" sticker also are allowed on the frame.
The WFSGI hailed the rule change as a victory for the bike industry.
"We are very happy for the entire bicycle industry to have reached this agreement with the IOC," said Robbert de Kock, the WFSGI's secretary general. "The fact that the bicycle brands can use the same logo size as used in UCI races gives them the right visibility. It shows that the collaborative efforts between the sporting goods industry and the international sports federations are proving to be successful and efficient."
The rules are still stringent. Besides the one-logo-per-side allowance, bikes in the Olympics are allowed to have the manufacturer's logo on the fork and seatpost, but only if the manufacturer is different from the frame's. If the maker of the handlebar, aero extensions and stem is different from the frame manufacturer, one logo is permitted on each side of either the stem, handlebar or extension. A wheel manufacturer's logo of no larger than 60 cm2 is allowed on each side of a wheel.
Scott has already painted up an Olympic bike for American triathlete Sarah Groff. To comply with the IOC rules, the company will likely have to cover up the Scott logos on the fork and chainstays for the Olympic race
The rule change on frame logos allows manufacturers to get more of their money's worth from sponsoring Olympic athletes, said Scott USA's Adrian Montgomery.
"It's been a bummer for manufacturers for quite a while," Montgomery said. "It's manufacturers and teams who help develop talent to get them to the Olympics, and then they get nothing."
Besides the bike and wheel logo restrictions, the IOC also restricts the use of logos on clothing, accessories and protective gear. On shorts and jerseys, one manufacturer's logo of a maximum size of 20 square centimeters is permitted. On one piece suits, one logo can be placed above the waist and one below.
One 6cm2 logo, or two 3cm2 logos are allowed per helmet.
Watch for more on this story in the June 15 issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News