20th Jul 2012 3:55pm | By Laura Chubb
Can you wear Nike trainers to the Olympics? "Probably," LOCOG chairman Lord Coe said, when quizzed about London 2012's rather extreme sponsorship rules.
The Olympics has been under fire over the past couple of weeks as strict regulations around sponsorship and the Games came to light.
Thanks to the billions provided by official Games partners such as Coca-Cola and Adidas, LOCOG has gone to great lengths to ensure that these sponsors are protected, banning references to other companies in the Olympic Park for the duration of the Games (including those that have sponsored athletes) and sending 'brand police' around the country to make sure no firms that are not official sponsors are associating themselves with the event.
When asked if spectators could be banned from wearing Pepsi T-shirts in the Olympic Park, Lord Coe admitted it was a possibility. "No, you probably would not be walking in with a Pepsi T-shirt because Coca-Cola are our sponsors," he said in an interview with the Today programme.
However, when quizzed about whether spectators would be asked to remove non-Adidas trainers, he responded that they "probably" would not.
Lord Coe defended the sponsorship rules - labelled "draconian" by some - in the interview, reasoning that LOCOG had to raise a "mountainous" amount of cash.
"We have to protect the rights of our sponsors because they, in large part, pay for the Games," he said.
"They do more than that, of course. They help us meet our legacy targets."