Samsung Asks Olympic Athletes To Cover iPhone Apple Logos During Games

Olympic athletes receive Note 3 phones with their country's flag on the back.

Olympic athletes receive Note 3 phones with their country’s flag on the back.

Samsung is an official sponsor of the Sochi 2014 Olympics, and the Korean company has been giving athletes Galaxy Note 3 phones to use during the games. In exchange for the gifts, Samsung has reportedly asked the athletes to specifically cover the Apple logos on their personal iPhones.

What happens if athletes don’t respect the rule remains unclear. Logos were also asked to be covered by Samsung when it was a sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics, so this isn’t a new tactic. However, it does illustrate Samsung’s corporate contempt for Apple.

Samsung’s Note 3 is being called the “official phone” of the Sochi Winter Olympics. The Galaxy S III was the official phone of the London Summer Olympics.

Olympic athletes are subjected to a strict censorship rule that prevents them from representing brands that are not sponsors during the games. Apple is not a sponsor. The rule only affects athletes, not spectators.

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  • darylayala

    Why only Apple Phones?

  • lwdesign1

    Samsung wants the world to believe that “no one is using iPhones anymore” because all the athletes will be carrying Samsung Note 3′s. Athletes are heros, so what phones they carry is an important positioning for Samsung in their marketing. People tend to imitate their heros, so Shamsung is expecting to make many more sales as a result. It’s a basic marketing strategy to build subconscious agreement that Somesong’s phones are the best. I’m wondering what will happen when a few of the athletes continue to use their iPhones, and how Singsong will react. After all, Shamesung has to make a living too! Smogshine is doing its best to put Apple out of business, regardless of the fact that Android is a shameless copy of iOS, which Smugsing will never admit.

  • ctt1wbw

    The Olympics have gotten out of control with regards to sponsors and advertising. It’s so bad that if you have an American Express card and Visa is a sponsor, your Amex is locked out pretty much everywhere. Now this with the Apple logo on the iPhone. What happens if someone uses an HTC phone?

  • Breadfan

    So, basically, the athletes are encouraged to “advertise” for specific brands even though they themselves are not actually being paid for endorsement? Does the IOC own the athletes?

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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