Samsung tells Olympians to cover their Apple logos during opening ceremony [Update]

As part of giving free devices to athletes, Samsung is insisting that no Apple logos appear during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics. A sponsor for the games, Samsung gave athletes Galaxy Note 3 smartphones in their gift bags, with the condition that, even if they used an Apple device, the logo could not be displayed during the opening ceremonies. The Galaxy Note 3 is apparently the primary device being pushed by Samsung during the games, according to Slashgear:

Samsung is pushing the Note 3 hard at the Olympics, equipping what it's describing as its "Galaxy Team" athletes with the pen-enabled smartphone to demonstrate how their training and their trip abroad can be better documented.

It should be noted that these sorts of restrictions aren't uncommon. Companies pay a lot of money to sponsor teams at the Olympics, and they don't want their competitors advertised for free. Panasonic had just that very situation on their hands durning the 2012 Olympics in London, having given athletes free headphones, only to find that some of their sponsored teams openly wearing custom Beats headphones, violating their deal with Panasonic.

Are Samsung's restrictions are unreasonable, or do sponsors have the right to expect that their competitors won't get free advertising? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Update: It appears that athletes are allowed to display the logos of non-sponsored products. While there are specific rules against the mention of non-sponsored products by athletes during the games, the appearance of logos is an exception to the rule. The International Olympic Committee is still applying the rules normally, according to MacRumors:

No it is not true. Athletes can use any device they wish during the Opening Ceremony. The normal rules apply just as per previous Games.

While it is still possible that Samsung requested that athletes cover competitor's logos, athletes that don't will face no penalty from the IOC.

Source: MacRumors, Bluewin, via SlashGear

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.