Wednesday, February 17, 2016

V 6 N. 13 Did Run Gum Get Stuck on the Pavement?

Last week I commented on the pending anti trust suit that Run Gum  had filed against the USOC and USATF boys and girls asking that a court allow Run Gum logos to be placed on the uniforms  of their sponsored athletes participating in the Olympic Trials marathon on Saturday.   To the best of my recollection I don't think this story got any traction during the NBC broadcast of the race.  And I've seen nothing indicating that the suit was already settled.   Out of sight out of mind?   Well maybe, but it does beg the issue of what are the freaking rules concerning all this back and forth between  sponsored runners and organizer/administrators.

Apparently in Olympic years (and I'm not even sure I can say the word 'Olympics' without committing some infringement of the use of that word), our national governing bodies the USOC and USATF may limit advertising, in the form of logos on uniforms,  to companies whose majority of revenues come from the  production of  apparel or footwear.   I think that means clothing and shoes. You may wonder why a company manufacturing vaulting poles should not be allowed to advertise on their sponsored vaulters'  apparel.  I can sort of understand why brewers, distillers, and tobacco companies might be discouraged, but it's not to say it's never been done.  In the distant past, Rothmans, a British cigarette company actively participated in athletics competitons in the Commonwealth.   Peter Snell worked for them or a competitor at one time.

Here's some more fun stuff.    Current rules state that the sponsor's logos can only appear one time on the vest and  can only occupy 30 square centimeters of space on the front of a singlet.  Moreover, that apparel company must be one of the few 'chosen' by USATF.   So if BMW is sponsoring a runner, there is no way in Hades that they can put their logo on someone's vest.   I guess if you were running for the old Mazda Track Club you would be SOL.   Run Gum, under today's rules cannot get into the ball park without a radical conversion of their structure and then a securing of a pontifical blessing from USATF.

The USOC and the  USATF  don't seem to want the sport to
go from this                                                      to  this.
Graham Hill 1964?
Jeff Gordon 2014?

   The logo can only appear on the front of the Vest one time .  Furthermore the logo patch must be rectangular in form and no  taller than 5 cm, and the lettering may be no higher than 4 cm.  Okay class, here is the test.  With this data in hand, what is the widest  the logo patch can be?

If you answered  7cm you may take a seat at the back of the class and hang your head in shame.  That would give you 35 square cm exceeding the limit by 5 square cm.   The correct answer is 6 cm at its widest.

This is perhaps what Run Gum would like to do with their logo.

Boy is that a rule breaker.  But who can argue that this is not a tasteful rather esthetic design?  It is not blaring, screaming at you to become addicted to the product or to take your eye off the actual competition going forth on the track.   Having seen a couple of international track and field meets in the past two years, I must admit I find it distracting to see so many athletes competing in the same uniform.  It's hard to distiguish them from each other when so many are dressed in one or two 'corporate team colors'.

This fight will go on into the Track  and Field O Trials this summer.   We will keep you informed of the situation.

After putting up this post, I received an anonymous report that Rothmans did  at one time publish a training manual by Arthur Lydiard , co-authored with  Garth Gilmour.  It was published by Rothmans PUblications Ltd., Aukland and was subsequently republished under a different banner.  

No image of the cover of the book appears online, but it was offered on E Bay recently for the sum of $20.33 plus shipping.

Rothmans of Pall Mall Athletic Training Schedule By Lydiard

Lydiard, Arthur and Gilmour, Garth

Published by Rothmans Publications Limited, Auckland

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