I picked up my new contact lenses the other day and noticed they are the ``Official contacts of the Na tional Basketball Association." Cool. Now maybe my jump shot will start dropping. That got me to thinking (always a dangerous situation). This is the year of the summer Olympics in Atlanta, and it's apparent that just about everything imaginable has become the ``Official (YOUR NAME HERE) of
Coke, of course, is the official soft drink. Coca-Cola is based in Atlanta, so it probably got first dibs.
Then there's American Express, the official credit card that lets you leave your Visa card at home. 'Cause they don't take Visa at the Olympics.
Or is it the other way around? Shoot, I should pay better attention to television ads.
My kids and I enjoyed watching the last Olympics on television so much, we planned to attend the Atlanta Games. About two years ago, when it became apparent the best tickets we could get would be synchronized swimming semifinals, we decided to spend our millions elsewhere.
I digress. The point I want to make is the Olympics will be the BIGGEST THING IN THE UNIVERSE this summer, and the rubber business needs to get involved.
I know the industry had endorsements in the past. The one I remember really wasn't official, though. In 1983, the U.S. Olympic Committee sued Uniroyal Inc. and Kmart Corp. for trademark infringement. Uniroyal made, and Kmart sold, a radial called the Olympian-also running ads featuring a runner and music that supposedly simulated an Olympic setting.
Cute, but they hadn't paid that endorsement fee to the Olympic Committee, which had no qualms about competing in court.
I'm sure the Olympic Committee would have room in its vaults for endorsement fees from the rubber industry. Wouldn't it be appropriate for Carlisle SynTec Systems to have the Official EPDM roofing of the Olympics? If the Olympic Committee were smart, it could promote a bidding war between Carlisle and Firestone Building Products: That's nothing new.
You could have Svedala Trellex as the official provider of rubber dock fenders. How about CR Industries, maker of the official radial lip shaft seals for cars? There's bound to be some radial lip shaft seals at the games.
And Carter Wallace, maker of Trojan condoms ... I'll leave that to your imagination.
Noga is editor of Rubber & Plastics News.