Ben Bryant – Telegraph.co.uk July 20, 2012
In an interview on Radio 4’s Today programme, the chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games answered questions about the extent to which sponsorship agreements would impact upon spectators.
He said: “You probably wouldn’t be walking in with a Pepsi T-shirt because Coca Cola are our sponsors.”
Interviewer Evan Davis asked Lord Coe if he would be able to enter the Olympic Park wearing Nike trainers, to which Lord Coe replied: “Let’s put some reality in this. You probably would be able to walk through with Nike trainers.”
Lord Coe defended the ban on ‘objects or clothing bearing political statements or overt commercial identification’ outlined in official guidelines for spectators.
He said: “We had to raise through the organising committee a mountainous amount of money through the private sector.
He added: “We have to protect the rights of the sponsors because they in a large part pay for the Games.”
Lord Coe questioned reports that police officers had been told to empty their crisps into plastic bags so they did not inadvertently advertise brands which are not sponsoring the Games.
“I’m not even sure that that is an accurate portrayal of what will have happened,” he said.
Lord Coe also commented on the ongoing security issues that have blighted the Olympics.
Failures by Games security contractor G4S have forced the Government to deploy an extra 3,500 military personnel to the Games, as well as hundreds of police officers.
Lord Coe said: “This is not an issue that has remotely compromised security. This is actually about the supply and the mix.
“We’ve got the numbers to make sure this is a safe and secure games.”
Lord Coe dismissed Evan Davis’s suggestion that a “negative narrative” had built up around the Olympics.
He said: “I’m talking to people who think that they have come to a Games that has delivered in the areas that they need in a way that no Games has delivered before.
He added: “Everywhere we go the reality of it is people are overwhelmingly very positive about what we are doing.”