Trending: That's not my name!
Confused by weird new venues and odd-sounding drinks? Don't panic: it's all an Olympic exercise in making over non-sponsors. Simon Usborne reports
It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for O2, the mobile phone people. Almost. Sports fans and corporate types who could be bothered must have wondered if London had been given a last-minute new venue to add to the stadium, the velodrome and the aquatics centre. The gymnastics were playing out yesterday at the North Greenwich Arena? Where?
Don't adjust your satnavs. The venue is the O2 Arena, of course, formerly known as a white elephant (and the Millennium Dome before that) but stripped of its name as part of a quiet debranding operation instigated by Games organisers according to International Olympic Committee rules on branding. When it comes to companies, if you ain't on the list (of official sponsors) you ain't coming in.
Ricoh, of photocopier fame, will get no Olympic return on its £10m investment in the Ricoh Arena. The venue has been renamed the City of Coventry Stadium for as long as it hosts Olympic football matches, but can be found more or less in the position it occupied before the Games.
In the spirit of not letting the little guys get any benefit from the greatest show on earth, smaller firms, too, have seen their names erased from venues. Lovair, a Cheshire-based bathroom fittings firm, proudly stated on its website last year that it had won the contract to supply its Air Fury C1 high speed hand dryers to the Olympic Stadium. But you wouldn't know: The logos have reportedly been taped over.
You heard about the ban on non-McDonald's fries or chips in the Olympic Park (you can have potato balls at Wembley, at least) but there doesn't need to be competition for brands to be disappeared from venues. It's never Pimm's O'Clock at Wimbledon anymore, where thirsty tennis fans must ask instead for a "No. 1 Cup" (which sounds like something you'd need if you were caught short before you could get to an Air Fury-free bathroom).
Beer that isn't from sponsors Heineken is "ale" and Trending can report that at the official press centre at the Olympic Park, journalists in search of illicit snacks must source contraband Pringles under the counter at the bar. "They're under here mate," the barman apparently says. "But we can't display them for obvious reasons."
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
Is David Beckham one of the Premier League all-time greats? He's not even in the top 1,000 says Chris Waddle
Groundhog day looms for Arsène Wenger as Arsenal battle for a place in the Champions League on final day
Andre Villas-Boas ready to spark Tottenham revolution
One last swipe at Manchester City and then Sir Alex Ferguson was gone...
- 1 Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
- 2 Gove’s lesson: spare the comma, spoil the child
- 3 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 4 Grace Dent on TV: Extreme Couponing, My Strange Addiction, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, TLC
- 5 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.