Beijing Athletes Given O.K To BlogFebruary 18, 2008
I just read that the IOC has agreed to let up on athletes and allow them to blog from the Beijing Olympics this year, but with a few restrictions obviously. Since I blog about triathlon training here and advise companies on corporate blogging as part of my day job, I’m really psyched to see this finally happen for multiple reasons, especially since I’ve been following a few Olympic hopefuls through their blogs over the past year or so. I’ve seen a lot of triathletes build out pretty decent blogs as a way to make them more attractive to sponsors, and it seems to work for many of them.
NBC usually does a pretty decent job of covering the huge spectrum of events, but any big fan of one sport can’t help but feel like their favorite event isn’t getting the prime time attention they think it deserves. (I doubt Triathlon will get much attention, but who knows.) Being able to get direct insight into the minds of athletes before and after competition, without NBC filtering through only what they think we will be interested in watching, will be awesome. As we speak I’m trying to dig around and see if any 2008 Olympic triathletes have blogs. Does anyone know?
Athletes aren’t given free reign though. You can’t have advertising, make money from your blog, post images of actual competition or competitors or talk trash.
Athletes or officials who blog can only post still pictures taken outside accredited areas or their own pictures taken within these areas that do not contain any sporting action.
It is sad to see that the IOC still has pretty tight restrictions on what can be said and what media can be used. I can see where they are coming from with their strict control of the Olympic brand, but hopefully they will ease up in the next few years and realize that more insight into the lives of athletes will benefit everyone: athletes, spectators, the IOC, broadcasters, and advertisers.
UPDATE: Thankfully it looks like I’m not the only one with this idea.