Nearly a week has gone already since Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake set a personal record of 9.75 seconds in 2012 London Olympics' 100-meter event. Not only has the 22-year-old clinched Silver Medal and the title of "world's fourth fastest man ever", but controversy and criticisms too.
The episode started on July 30th when ultra-luxury watch maker Richard Mille made a cryptic message on its Facebook page. In its statement, Richard Mille announced "...the arrival of one of the best sprinters as a member of the 'RM Family'...". Though well aware of International Olympic Committee's rule against personal endorsement and advertisement of any kind during the game. To add more intrigues, Richard Mille's marketing team attached a rendering of a custom edition watch in obvious green, black, and gold color of Jamaican flag along with a detailed description. Finally, it hinted that the mysterious brand ambassador will "...be the only sprinter to run with a tourbillon watch on his wrist." On August 5th, all was revealed when Yohan Blake stepped onto the starting line as the only athlete with a watch.
The publicity stunt certainly exploited a loophole within IOC rules. Blake not wore the watch since and neither the sprinter nor Richard Mille spoke about the "incident". However, the story is still the top trending news on the Internet. For the IOC, its uncertain if the stunt was a clear violation of Rule 40, Bylaw 2 within the Olympic Charter. Yet, it might think of other ways to punish Blake and Richard Mille as prevention of future copycats. And the watch? Richard Mille will disclose all information about it this coming Wednesday. Additional Info via: Perpetuelle
Richard Mille Pre-Race Statement
A SPRINTER JOINS THE RICHARD MILLE TEAM
The Richard Mille team of "sports partners' expands once more. This time in the world of athletics! Richard Mille is delighted to announce the arrival of one of the best sprint
ers as a member of the "RM Family'. In accordance with the Olympic rules, his name will be revealed 3 days after the closing ceremony.
As with the other Richard Mille team partners, the sprinter will wear a Richard Mille tourbillon prototype whilst running. The white case thus creating a striking contrast with the green flange and crown. However the index points and Velcro® strap are in a striking yellow. He will be the only sprinter to run with a tourbillon watch on his wrist.
In 2013, the partnership between Richard Mille and the sprinter will continue with the development of a new caliber.