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Dissing Essent at the World Cup in Vancouver


I caught a glimpse of Dutch speed skater Sven Kramer on telly who the orange-clad audience in the stands were basically waiting for to win as expected at the World Speed Skating Championships in Vancouver, Canada last weekend. I was happy to hear that they spoke French at the event (it’s not the plague anymore), so I kept watching.

There were adverts from Dutch utility Essent that read ‘Svencouver’. If you read it in Dutch, the ‘Sven’ rhymes with ‘Van’ and it’s very cute. Essent wants to get customers to sign up with Essent under the name ‘Svencouver’ so they can get a discount depending on how many gold medals Kramer wins, which apparently is just a question of time. Problem is, they’re not an official Olympic sponsor.

In true Dutch uncle style, the Dutch Olympic committee asked Essent to lose their excellent slogan because it sounds too much like Vancouver. And that’s apparently not good because Vancouver is supposed to be synonymous with the Olympics, the five coloured rings and all, but not Essent or our man Sven.

Luckily for Essent, they also had a back up — ‘Svenergy’. In fact, Essent has no legal obligation to stop using ‘Svencouver’, but are literally being sports about it.

What bugs me is the Dutch Olympic Committee publically reprimanding a good sponsor in times of crisis.


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  1. […] the Dutch want to bring the party over to the Vancouver winter Olympics 2010 to watch stars like Sven ‘Svencouver’ Kramer kick all the men’s asses at speed skating. For three weeks, people would get to hang out with […]

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