Olympic sponsorship row hits chips
Filed under: Your Rights
However, it has raised issues of practicalities, health, morality and now the vexing issue of chips.
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The rows so farThe issues are wide-ranging, partly because the sponsorship deals are broad and complex. Adidas, for example, is the official sportswear sponsor, which means that only its clothes can be worn on the podium. It led to questions of what athletes were supposed to do if they were sponsored by a competitor and had already signed up to wearing a particular brand of trainers.
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Meanwhile, at the end of last year, there was uproar over sponsor Dow Chemical Country - which made the wrap around the stadium. It owns Union Carbide, responsible for the Bhopal gas leak in 1984 which killed thousands of people, and there were protests against the sponsorship deal.
Health issues have also raged, with London Royal Free cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra railing against the sponsorship of the games by junk food firms just this week.
And there were questions of whether it was fair to require people to get Visa cards in order to buy Olympic tickets - particularly for those who could not arrange a card in time for the draw.
ChipsHowever, the latest issue to emerge is the selling of chips at the Olympic stadium. There are 800 food vendors on the site, offering 150 dishes, including fish and chips (for £8). However, the serving of chips on their own outside of the McDonald's restaurants has been banned.
Even to put fish and chips on the menu, The Telegraph has reported that the organising committee had to get special permission from McDonald's, which otherwise has sole rights to french fries sold at the games.
There are few things more sacrosanct than the tradition of eating far too much while watching other people expend energy and exhibit their sporting prowess. The mighty portion of chips is central to this philosophy - whether accompanied by fish, a pie, a pint or nothing.
The issue has raised a stink on Twitter and in the blogosphere, with people hitherto unconcerned by sponsorship issues becoming heated about their right to consume fatty carbohydrates in any way they deem necessary.
The question is whether this is the final straw. Does this take sponsorship too far - or is this just part and parcel of staging a massive sporting event in the middle of a worldwide financial meltdown?
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
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