Michael Phelps is back in the Olympic pool on Wednesday to continue his quest for more gold medals and he came out with an extra piece of equipment — a piece of tape on top of his headphones.
When Phelps began his quest to add to his record total of career medals on Day 2 of the Rio Olympics, he came out wearing Beats headphones with some awkward-looking American flag tape. While it is not unusual to see athletes with the Beats logos covered with tape at events where Beats is not an official partner, there was something different about Phelps as he did a lacklustre job.
While the side logos were covered in American flag tape, there was still a very noticeable BEATS wordmark on top of the headphones that was not covered in tape. Suddenly the tape seemed like a failed attempt to stamp out what some refer to as “ambush marketing” strategies.
On Tuesday, the wordmark was still not covered. But on Wednesday, Day 5 of the Rio Olympics, somebody with the International Olympic Committee must have finally noticed.
When Phelps came out for the 200-meter individual medley semifinal, he had a noticeable piece of American flag tape covering the Beats wordmark on top.
And it wasn’t just Phelps. Fellow American Ryan Lochte also had some fresh tape on top of his Beats headphones.
This isn’t the first time that Beats has caused some controversy with athletes at the Olympics. In 2012, Beats gave many high-profile Olympians free headphones just prior to the Summer Olympics in London.
Many athletes, including Phelps, were seen wearing the headphones despite efforts by the IOC to prevent ambush marketing, the practice of having athletes promote brands that are not official partners of the Olympics.
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