Adding Colour To The Circuit

:slight_smile: HELSINKI, Dec 5 Reuters - The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) wants to increase fan interest in one-day meetings by bringing in a new dress code.
Among various proposals aired at the IAAF’s two-day Council meeting in the Finnish capital is one to allow top athletes to run in their national colours.
We've been told by all parties that the programme has to be condensed and snappier, that we're losing out, that we need to build heroes and make the individual identities of people more understandable,'' IAAF spokesman Nick Davies told reporters on Sunday. When you see a Grand Prix race, with 10 people running and wearing the same vest, it becomes impossible to make anything of that,’’ he said.
Davies said proposed changes included having the top 50 ranked athletes in events compete in their national colours, printing names or ranking numbers on their bibs, and having athletes wear clothing with the same colour on the front and back to avoid confusing spectators.
While the changes would mean advertising regulations would have to be changed and clothing manufacturers notified, Davies said they had been agreed in principle and should be finalised at an IAAF Council meeting in Doha in April.
He said the IAAF was also looking into speeding up one-day events, including shortening awards ceremonies, with a new competition structure expected to be ready for 2006.

Won’t the sponsors be pissed? Nike etc?

I would assume even if they wore their countries colors the sponsors could just adjust for the country’s color?

It’s a cash grab and has been tried before. National federations have their own clothing deals and would like nothing better than to force the top athletes to wear their stuff all the time. As well, the National Federations can exert ownership any time their Uniforms are worn to take other advertising opportunities away from the individuals who earn them.
I love Nick Davies’ lame excuse about wearing Nat Team gear so:" People wont be confused."
I remember a meet in Toronto, when I was a kid, featuring Harry Jerome, the World Record holder with a ten meter edge on the rest of us. An official came over just before the race and complained that Harry wasn’t wearing a bib number: “You know the rules Harry!” So Harry, attached the cloth number with one pin right in the middle, leaving it draped on his chest. The official replied: “But Harry, how will anyone know who you are?”

What Charlie says is spot-on. Hadn’t even been thinking along those (personal endorsement) lines.

However it is numbing watching 12 guys all wearing identical uniforms in the same race, especially in a distance event when you’re trying to watch the tactical moves, you may not have a good idea of what the athlete who holds your interest looks like and Nike (in particular) make matters worse by hiding all their contracted runners in the same camouflaged uniforms.

They can be more creative- and put their names on the shirts instead of numbers. With modern camera methods, any meet sponsor’s add can show up on the screen in the introductions instead of the shirts. This is often done in other sports- and adds to the appeal. Can you picture female figure skaters wearing the kind of “sandwich board” identification numbers we put our females in? " Dancing to Carmin, wearing number 45273 - Katerina Witt!"