U.S. Rule 40 Education


Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter is an eligibility rule introduced by the International Olympic Committee in 1991 for the purpose of maintaining the unique and universal competitive environment offered by the Olympic Games. The rule helps ensure global participation at the Games and maintain the long-term health of the Movement. The value of the IOC’s international marketing program and the benefit partners receive to market their association with the Games supports athletes around the world, including all members of Team USA. There is a similar rule in the International Paralympic Committee’s Paralympic Handbook that governs participants in the Paralympic Games.


Based on the IOC’s updated Rule 40 guidance for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, the USOPC will maintain its domestic Rule 40 permissions process for the rescheduled Games in 2021.

Personal Sponsor Commitments (PSCs) previously completed in this system will be extended to the new 2021 Rule 40 period. The USOPC will reach out to all companies who completed PSCs in 2020 to (1) verify if they still intend to run any campaigns with Tokyo participants during the Rule 40 period in 2021, and (2) if the details entered in each PSC still accurately reflect campaign plans for 2021.

The USOPC will release Rule 40 domestic guidance for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Beijing 2022 after the Tokyo Games.


Olympic Games: July 13 - August 10, 2021.
Paralympic Games: August 17 - September 8, 2021.


Rule 40 applies to all Tokyo 2020 participants, including current competitors, coaches, trainers and officials. Rule 40 does not apply to alumni.


For Athletes

  • Increased opportunity to honor existing and engage new personal sponsors
  • Less restrictive timelines for aligning with personal sponsor and creative execution
  • Ability to recognize personal sponsors seven (7) times during the Games period
  • Ability to be recognized by personal sponsors one (1) time during the Games period
  • Streamlined permissions process with improved clarity on sponsor responsibility and compliance
  • Shared responsibility with personal sponsors through the creation of Personal Sponsor Commitment; previously the responsibility was on the athlete alone

For Official USOPC/IOC Partners

  • Exclusivity around Team USA and Games marks and imagery
  • Increased ambush protection through the Personal Sponsor Commitment
  • Enhanced advanced education and enforcement efforts
  • Exemption from registration; continuance of all existing partner benefits related to timing and support of USOPC partner staff
  • Ability to include more than one athlete in a single campaign


Get Permission

Steps for Athletes:
  • Athlete registers into the USOPC Rule 40 system and notifies her/his personal sponsors to complete a Personal Sponsor Commitment
  • After athlete completes registration, the USOPC will automatically send a link to its Personal Sponsor Commitment terms agreement to each listed personal sponsor
  • Personal sponsors do not need to wait for invitations from each athlete they sponsor to complete a Personal Sponsor Commitment
Steps for Personal Sponsors :
  • Athlete personal sponsors are able to complete a Personal Sponsor Commitment by clicking the “Personal Sponsor Entry” button at any point. Personal sponsors do not need to wait for invitations from each athlete they sponsor to complete a Personal Sponsor Commitment
  • Athlete personal sponsor agrees to terms listed in the USOPC’s Personal Sponsor Commitment
  • Once an athlete’s personal sponsor completes Personal Sponsor Commitment, it is granted a Rule 40 permission
  • If personal sponsor violates the agreement, its Rule 40 permission will be revoked and may face other consequences

Know the Rules


  • Non-Games-related, generic advertising
    Non-Games-related, generic advertising. Generic Examples_1_Rule40
    Non-Games-related, generic advertising.Generic Examples_2_Rule40
    Non-Games-related, generic advertising.Generic Examples_3_Rule40
  • An athlete may make seven (7) social posts to thank his/her personal sponsors
    Thank You Example 1 Rule
    Thank You Example 2 Rule
  • A personal sponsor may make one (1) congratulatory or well-wishing social media post per athlete sponsored
    Congrats Example 1 Rule40
    Congrats Example 2 Rule40


Every NOC is asked to apply the IOC’s Rule 40 guidance in their domestic territory as they see fit. This updated USOPC guidance is unique to the U.S. market and specifically honors the opportunity for Team USA athletes to secure personal sponsorship in support of training and competition.

For all campaigns running in markets outside the U.S., athlete personal sponsors must notify the IOC of their non-U.S. generic advertising plans by no later than May 15, 2021 through: https://rule40.olympic.org/


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