Yesterday, it emerged that Samsung, a partner of the 2014 Moscow Winter Olympics, was giving away free Galaxy Note 3 handsets in goody bags handed to each and every participating athlete. Only, instead of being a genuine gift with the hope of a little ad coverage if the Olympian was snapped using the device, it was also reported that the Korean company was trying to exercise some kind of jurisdiction over what the athlete could then use (or indeed, not use) with regards to rivaling devices during the opening ceremony. However, official correspondence from the IOC (via MacRumors) has refuted the claim, so while it did make for an entertaining (and strangely plausible) story, Samsung’s give away looks a genuine, no-strings gift to the stars after all.
It was the Swiss team that reportedly gave the game away with regards to Samsung’s supposed marketing tactics, but whether they were playing a silly joke or were simply misquoted, they have now set the record straight and confirmed that they were not, at any point, asked to cover up logos of other devices they decided to use during the opening ceremony.
With the constant court battles in the mobile industry, particularly the ongoing cases with Samsung and Apple, the levels of animosity between the two titans lingers menacingly like a dormant volcano. Considering the playground-like tactics that both sides have abjectly demonstrated in the past in the continual strive for one-upmanship, a story like this – perhaps ridiculous in most other industries – was actually pretty believable. Moreover, it certainly would have been funny – if the story was true – to have seen how the athletes would have gone about hiding the Apple, HTC, or (dare we say) Nokia logos at that opening exhibition.
Whatever the case, Samsung will be, as it was in London’s Summer Games of 2012, a major sponsor of the Winter games, so while you may or may not see a lot of Galaxy Note 3s floating around, you will likely be catching that famous blue logo ad nauseam if you’re planning on watching the forthcoming spectacle.
The company has a famously large vault of cash ready to splurge on occasions like this, so while giving away a free Note 3 may seem a tad frivolous, in reality, it’s a mere drop in the ocean.