USOC Tells Brighton Ski Area to Zip It

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Salt Lake City, UT, Dec. 13 (AP)--The U.S. Olympic Committee has asked a ski area to end its tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign, which boasts: ``Proud host of ZERO Olympic events.''

USOC deputy executive director and general counsel Scott Blackmun said in a letter Monday to Brighton Ski Area general manager Randy Doyle that the ads infringe on USOC's licensing rights to ``Olympic marks.''

``While the intent of your ad campaign may be humor, it is also very damaging to the hopes of U.S. athletes currently in training for the 2000 Olympic Games and the 2002 Olympic Winter Games,'' Blackmun wrote.

Doyle and Brighton marketing manager Dan Malstrom did not immediately return calls.

Brighton also promoted its ski school by promising ``You don't need an Olympic Committee to get into this school'' _ a jab at the scholarships that were offered to relatives of IOC members during bidding for the games.

Blackmun said the congressional charter that established the USOC provided an ``exclusive right to control the commercial exploitation of Olympic marks in this country.''

``Your current ad campaign dilutes the value of the Olympic mark and impairs our licensing and fundraising efforts, which are critical to our goal of bringing the best American Olympic Team in history to Salt Lake City,'' Blackmun wrote.

Olympic downhill skiing events are scheduled at other Utah resorts such as Snowbasin, Park City and Deer Valley.

Copyright (c) 1999 The Associated Press