Samsung Demands Olympic Athletes Cover Apple Logos on iPhones


With the Winter Olympics set to kick off this week in Sochi, sponsor Samsung has been ponying up Galaxy Note 3 smartphones into athlete goodie bags, part of its “Samsung Smart Olympic Games” initiative, which has the Note 3 being named the ‘Olympic Games phone’.

But this freebie comes with some stipulations, as apparently the South Korean conglomerate wants Olympians to cover up logos on their iPhones at the opening ceremonies, so their competition doesn’t get any airtime on television, based on info spilled by the Swiss Olympic team (via SlashGear).

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According to Bluewin, the use of the Galaxy Note 3 by athletes comes with guidelines, according to the following Google Translation:

Other sponsors of the Winter Games give the athletes turn toiletries, and the latest smartphones. On the gifts but also demands are linked. Olympic sponsor Samsung wants to see the opening ceremony no competition items in your TV picture. Those who want to attend the ceremony on Friday at the invasion photos or videos with a competing product which has to cover for example the apple logo.

Samsung also has sponsored its own Galaxy Team of Olympic hopefuls which consists of over 80 athletes from 20 countries.

It’s understandable Samsung wants their products to shine front and centre at the opening ceremonies, but to ask people to cover up the logos on their personal smartphones is a bit much, don’t you think?



  • Al

    Considering that athletes are always looking for sponsors, they tend to gratefully show their appreciation towards their sponsors for their support by wearing their sponsors name or logo and often verbally expressing their appreciation. This isn’t much different.

    If Samsung is sponsoring the games (not just giving the athletes phones), then I think it’s a reasonable request to say, “Please only take your Note 3 to the opening ceremonies”. I think athletes would appreciate the support and, as such, honor the request.

  • They’re not saying they can’t have iPhones, they’re just asking them to cover up the logos. A lot of people already have a third-party case that covers up the logo anyways. If they’re paying a massive chunk of money to sponsor the games, I think that’s a fair request for the athletes. They’re essentially sponsoring an entertainment event and asking the performers not to advertise the competitor’s product. Now, if they were making the same request of spectators, I think that would be a bit much.

  • Tim

    I already cover up my apple logos on my iphone and especially my macbook (which obtusely glows). I like the products for their utility, not so that I can be a brand whore for Apple.

  • Kosmo

    So, Samsung is concenred that, even with the phones they are giving for free, there still be more iPhones 🙂
    Since they sponsor the games, they should also ask the crowd to cover the logos on their phones as well. And their cameras, watches, etc. And wear Samsung TVs instead of heads. God forbid if they are wearing underwear not approved by Samsung!

  • FragilityG4

    Do you cover up the logo on your car? Just curious …

  • baaahhhh

    apple demands others to stop using square icons…

  • Blablah

    Apple makes cars too?

  • FragilityG4

    I think you missed the point of the question. When you purchase a car it has the company logo all over it. When you drive around with it you in fact are advertising for said company. No different than raising your phone or MacBook showcasing the Apple logo.
    If ones against advertising that way, are they consistent in their distain for advertising in other ways.

  • FragilityG4

    I agree in part however in other sporting events and sponsorship relationships this does not exist. If Bridgestone is sponsoring a race it’s not required that all cars use Bridgestone tires or cover up the logo.

  • FragilityG4

    If their product was so good they wouldn’t have this problem would they? 😉

  • Al

    You’re comparing (mostly) amateur athletes that need money to train all day – every day, with professional race car drivers?

  • FragilityG4

    This isn’t about amateur versus professional … It’s sponsorship. And more importantly it’s Samsung versus Apple.

  • Al

    “And more importantly it’s Samsung versus Apple”
    Seriously? That’s the big point that you’re getting out of this?

    “It’s sponsorship” … EXACTLY … sponsorship vs. advertising.
    Sponsorship is tied to amateur (I’m using the term loosely) and advertising is tied to professional. Samsung is effectively sponsoring everyone, as well as the games in general. Bridgestone advertises with specific racers only.

    How are you not getting this?

    If you take a long moment to think about it, surely you will be able to comprehend the scenario.

  • FragilityG4

    It’s pettiness. When coca cola was sponsoring did they tell people to cover up Pepsi products? This is Samsung pettiness — nothing more. And stop with the amateur angle … It’s not amateur anymore.

  • lemontwist

    Sounds like gays & Apple vs. Russian government & samsung. Anything else people have to hide for this Olympic.

  • Jonathan Dunmire

    Right. If a free brand new phone doesn’t stop people from using their iPhone, well they probably like their iPhone better.

  • Jonathan Dunmire

    Samsung is trying to get more than what they’re paying for. Sponsorship ought to be done for the goodwill a company will receive, not as a way for backdoor, forced endorsement.

  • OriginalAustin

    Actually, in a lot of professional racing, you indeed cannot use any brand other than the supplied, sponsoring tire brand. It is mandated in the rules to use bridgestone, or whatever.

  • FragilityG4

    Are you sure about that? I’ve always known teams to use different tires Bridgstone, Michelin, Goodyear, Firestone etc.

  • FragilityG4

    I stand corrected. I was unaware that there was a sole tire supplier.

    Nevertheless it was reveled by the IOC and Samsung that this report was completely false and those with iPhones were not being asked to cover up the logo.

  • ad

    Samsung should really mind their speech………”think before you speak”