Jaguar at Rio Olympics Torch Ceremony

Mascots – often grown men dressed in oversized animal costumes – have long since been a fun component of sports brands. Coming out at public events to give the crowd a laugh and remind people that sport is fun. In stark, stark contrast – the Rio Olympics PR machine made an absolutely catastrophic error earlier this month by including a real life Jaguar at an official torch ceremony.

Not only is the inclusion of a chained wild animal at an Olympic event a massive misrepresentation of the Olympic brand – which represents pride, dignity and freedom – it is also totally unnecessary and inappropriate.

Ironically, the misguided decision to use the live animal may well have gone under the radar if subsequent to the photo shoot the Jaguar hadn’t escaped and promptly been shot dead by soldiers.

… so much more than a ‘whoopsie daisy’ … a bloody tragedy.