Unless you happen to be a company like GE, Coca-Cola or McDonald’s—a brand that can afford the reported $100 million to $200 million it costs to be an official Olympic sponsor—you’d better not mention the Rio games in your marketing.
As social-savvy marketers have quickly learned, the U.S. Olympic Committee has ironclad regulations, backed by U.S. trademark law, that restrain nonsponsoring brands from saying anything even vaguely evocative of the Olympics. A casual mention of Rio on Facebook? A congratulatory tweet to a gold medalist? Even tweeting the term “gold medal”? Don’t do it.