Nike avoids Olympic sponsorship restrictions

Nike has launched an ad campaign starring former Team GB athlete Paula Radcliffe after she pulled out of the Olympics due to injury.

paula radcliffe

The British marathon runner’s injury lets Nike avoid rules that stop non-sponsors from using Team GB athletes in ads.

Nike says it may look to run more adverts staring British athletes if the opportunity arises throughout the Games. A Nike spokesman says future activity “would depend on the situation” .

If Radcliffe had not been injured, Nike, which unlike its arch rival Adidas is not an official sponsor of the Games, would not have been able to run the ad because of rules protecting sponsors during the Olympics.

During the event, athletes can only promote official Olympic sponsors, which means many are not allowed to endorse their own individual sponsors.

Team USA athletes have already called for a change in the rules so that they can make the most of their sponsors.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here