Drop that Pimms! Brand patrol on guard in London

Associated Press + More

By PAUL HAVEN, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — If you want a Pimms Cup at an Olympic tennis match, you're out of luck. You'll have to order a "No. 1 cup" instead.

That's because Pimms isn't an Olympic sponsor.

There's a multibillion dollar sponsorship battle unfolding at the London Games, and critics say that London organizers have been heavy-handed — or just plain stupid — in their zealous enforcement of branding restrictions.

There are examples everywhere of how it's playing out. The Goodyear Blimp is ubiquitous at sporting events around the globe. But in London, it's just a blimp. And at Olympic venues, there's tape covering up Dell and Apple logos on computers.

The London organizing committee is defending its sponsorship policy, saying it had to raise more than $1 billion from sponsors.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.