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Adidas shorts latest victim of brand protection
Fakir Hassen (IANS), PTI
Johannesburg, February 24, 2003
First Published: 14:25 IST(24/2/2003)
Last Updated: 14:25 IST(24/2/2003)

In another instance of aggressive brand protection at the cricket World Cup, two brothers wearing Adidas shorts were reportedly allowed to enter a stadium only after they wore their shorts inside out.

This is because Adidas is not one of the sponsors of the event and World Cup officials are very strict about not allowing competing logos to be seen.

In earlier incidents, a spectator had to forfeit an expensive bottle of perfume, others were asked to throw away cans of Coca-Cola because Pepsi is the official sponsor, and schoolchildren were made to peel the labels off their lunch packs.

The strict checking has elicited several complaints from irate spectators.

In the latest incident, brothers Brett and Steve Sliedrecht of Pietermaritzburg said they were debarred from the local Oval during a warm-up match between Bangladesh and the provincial Dolphins because of their Adidas shorts.

The brothers, both teachers, had taken a group of school children to the game.

To avoid disappointing their charges, they agreed to wear their shorts inside out but this caused them some embarrassment as people stared at them. They now also have to live down the incident at their school.

The school children also had to peel off the stickers on the plastic bottles of Coca-Cola in their lunch packs.

World Cup security chief Patrick Ronan said he would investigate the incident, admitting that it was a case of strict instructions to personnel about possible ambush marketing having gone awry.

In yet another incident, a businessman here, Arthur Williamson, has laid assault charges against World Cup security officials after he was thrown out of a stadium for opening a can of Coca-Cola last week.

With many fans from the sub-continent headed here for the India-Pakistan clash Saturday, they would do well to read the fine print on their tickets about what is allowed. Otherwise they may well find themselves in trouble quite innocently, or having to throw away valuable items if they do not want to forego a match.

However, they should not be fooled by security guards, who have insisted during past games that spectators have to discard any item not allowed into the stadium. Security chiefs said that every stadium had an office where such items could be handed in and collected after the match was over.


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