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Spread the Love - Olympians Offered Free Condoms
By Catherine Valenti
Sept. 17 Theres going to be a lot of love in the Olympic Village in Sydney this year.
Ansell Australia, a division of Ansell Healthcare, will be providing 50,000 latex condoms, educational leaflets, personal lubricant and medical gloves to the athletes and medical personnel at the Olympic Games this year.
And as if that werent enough: The company will also be holding an additional 50,000 condoms in reserve if theyre needed.
The condoms are available at locations around the athletes village and come in a variety of colors including gold, silver and bronze.
In an effort to reach out to its key target market of males between the ages of 18 and 35, Ansell has been giving out condoms at various sporting events, including the parking lots of New England Patriot and Oakland Raider football games.
But targeting Olympic athletes will be a different kind of endeavor, says Ansell Healthcares vice president of marketing Carol Carrozza.
Youre getting together an extremely diverse population of athletes that are typically in that age group from all over the world, from different lifestyles and different cultures, says Carrozza.
Theyre traveling far distances and engaging in celebratory sort of activities, and this is going to help them protect themselves.
Sydney: One Big Party
But isnt sex the last thing from Olympic athletes minds? Not so, say some sports psychologists. Whereas once coaches thought sexual activity detracted from an athletes performance, many are now rethinking that view.
Very often you found that coaches were concerned about male sexuality because it drains energy, but that and the dinosaur died out, Tom Tutko, retired professor and sports psychologist from San Jose State University.
The modern coach is probably more concerned that it will be a distraction more than an energy drain, Tutko says.
Tutko adds that since only a few of the roughly 10,000 athletes competing for Olympic glory will realistically win a medal, many of the other competitors view the games as one big party.
And as a marketing tool, being associated with Olympians might be a great step for the company, say some marketing experts.
It makes sense; the condom maker has got a brand name and theyre going to be associated with the most physically ideal people in the world, says Rick Burton, director of the University of Oregons Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.
And now the most physically ideal people can get physical without worry.
-- (email@example.com), September 17, 2000
Medical gloves??? And, these are for...?
-- (Can't @touch.that), September 17, 2000.
I've always preferred "stealth" condoms -- they never see you coming.
-- Chicken Little (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 17, 2000.
I agree that it's probably best that we not go into what the "medical gloves" are supposed to be used for. But I am disappointed that the condoms only come in gold, silver, and bronze -- none of those neat "glow-in-the-dark" ones that could be used in a nighttime processional.
(Yes, I realize that I do not treat the Olympics with the proper degree of reverence. I'll work on it.)
-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), September 17, 2000.