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AC36: Sir Ben Ainslie's team changes name to 'INEOS Team UK' after the British Olympic Association blocks use of their trademark 'Team GB'

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

LONDON (#1004) – It's an embarrassment for [Sir Ben] Ainslie who was the first Olympian to win medals in five different Olympic Games in sailing, with his haul including four golds. The latest development comes after some criticism for switching his sponsorship to [INEOS Chairman and CEO Jim] Ratcliffe, a pro-Brexit businessman whose company is one of the main fracking firms in the UK. The Telegraph reported on Wednesday that [British] Olympic bosses told the billionaire they would never give up the trademark for free, with money gained from it used to back Britain's Olympic campaigns. The respected newspaper said "the row escalated with Mr Ratcliffe writing to the BOA, saying he 'naively' thought use of Team GB would be seen in a 'patriotic light', and claiming he was told he faced a multi-million bill to use the trademark. "As a result, the businessman invited BOA to 'take a long walk off a short plank' in the letter, saying he would rename the yachting campaign to 'Team UK, which I much prefer'."  –Excerpt from a Wednesday morning article on New Zealand's stuff.co.nz website. Read the full story here.

 

Now that Mr Ratcliffe is in the America's Cup, perhaps he should take a long walk to think about getting his nautical clichés in order. As our Dear Readers will know, the expression is about a "short pier" – not "plank." Planks are for, er, pirates. 

 

Billionaire Jim Ratcliffe (left, GBR) with Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR) at the launch, the week before last, of Mr Ratcliffe's $153 million sponsorship of Mr Ainslie's British challenge for the 2021 America's Cup. Photo: Toby Melville / Reuters via The Telegraph.

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