NBC Sports’ new ‘2020NE’ Olympics text is confusing people

NBC Sports has released a promo centered around the fact the 2020 Olympics will now take place in 2021 but still marketed as the 2020 Olympics.

When the IOC announced that the Olympics would be pushed to 2021, it was also said it would still be marketed and officially known as the “2020” games. 

Using the banner “Same dream. Different Year,” NBC drives home that point with large text reading “2020NE.”

It’s obviously supposed to be read as “twenty twenty-one” and a round glyph is designed to do double duty as both the “O” in “one” and zero in “2020.”

The fact that the zeroes and “Os” in the lockup could be read as either, helping drive the “mashup” concept, also adds an interesting potential layer of confusion. 

The look, while clever, is confusing some people already.

Is it supposed to be “two hundred two one”? Or is it “two zero two one, “two-oh-two-one” or “two-oh-two-oh-N-E”? Or maybe “twenty twenty one N-E”?

And if so what does “N-E” mean? Perhaps even “twenty twenty northeast”?


You get the point. 

The lockup becomes even more confusing when it isn’t set in a font that renders zeroes and “Os” the same — such as “2020NE.”

Many fonts display “Os” as being more round, while zeroes are a bit narrower. 

This happens on social media when the logo is replicated using rendered text rather than an image file.

The promo does still include the Tokyo 2020 logo NBC created back in 2018. That logo, in accordance with IOC rules, still shows “2020.”

It’s worth noting that NBC hasn’t technically created a new logo for the 2020 Olympics as some sites are reporting. Instead, it’s more of a tagline or “alternate” campaign.