Companies pay big time to sponsor events, and with it comes a number of privileges. Tickets, access, prestige, and signage. That’s right – they’re dishing out the cash to make sure they’re seen loud and clear. And when one of those things doesn’t happen, you’ve got trouble.
Yet usually there’s some sort of boundary between sponsors and the teams and events they support. While the connection is there, there always seems to be a level of integrity involved. But alas, China has found a way to violate this.
China has punished four of its athletes who failed to properly display a sponsor's trademark on their chests while running in the Beijing Marathon in October.Three others were also fined, including the women’s runner-up. And what was the big deal? Rens’ chest number was half unpinned, and hung down in such a way that obscured sponsors’ logos. Did they expect him to stop in the middle of a marathon to pin it back up? Come on, he was running a marathon!
The Chinese Athletic Association (CAA) fined men's runner-up Ren Longyun 10,000 yuan (666 pounds) in a decision made out of "respect for the sponsor", it said on its Web site.
You’d expect a team or organization to stand by the athletes that it supports, and most would. But the Chinese Athletic Association has clearly shown whose side it is on. And it’s not surprising.
"From now on, athletes' education will be boosted to protect the overall interests of the marathon," the paper quoted Wang Dawei, a deputy director of CAA, as saying.