Sport continues to grow as a commercially proposition, it is therefore not surprising that sports business disputes of various kinds are on the increase, especially in the current economic climate where every penny counts, and the question arises how best to resolve them – by traditional means, through the Courts, or by modern means, through some form of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution)?
Football DataCo has been involved in many sporting intellectual property law disputes in recent years. In this article LawInSport's Kevin Carpenter analyses the latest in a string of cases affecting data provided by companies for sports betting purposes which has implications for both the UK and Europe.
First published in iGaming Business
Any quiz boffin worth their salt will know that the first English football team to wear sponsored shirts was not Arsenal, Man United or Chelsea but non-league Kettering Town. It was January 1976 and the sponsor was Kettering Tyres. Despite the fact that Kettering was a relative footballing backwater and 1976 was a very different era in media coverage, it took the Football Association just four days to order the removal of the branding. Following a brief period of cat and mouse during which Kettering reduced their branding to "Kettering T" (claiming it stood for "Town" rather than "Tyres"), the threat of an FA fine finally wore Kettering's defiance down.
The European Court of Justice has ruled that the owners of sports data protected by database rights (see Data Protection and Sport) can enforce their rights in the EU country where the sports data is received on the internet regardless of where the server using those rights is located. The ECJ ruled that a company which repackages the sports data can, therefore, be deemed to be making the data “available to the public” by sending it on to internet betting websites. The ruling is important for sports data owners as it prevents unauthorised users of sports data from avoiding liability by locating servers in countries where there is little prospect of enforcement.
LawInSport gets an exclusive interview with Rick Vandenhurk & Chris Dickerson
On Friday 16th November, in a London hotel, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet two stars of Major League Baseball (MLB), Rick Vandenhurk, a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates & Chris Dickerson, an outfielders for the New York Yankees. Both where in London as part of the European Big League Tour (EBLT), an organisation founded by Vadenhurk, a Dutch national, who wanted to organise free clinics with All-Stars from the MLB for kids in his home country The Netherlands and the rest of Europe.
The FIFA World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet. In 2014, Brazil will host the tournament again 64 years after the Brazilian national team was crowned runner-up in the Maracanã stadium, Brazil. Many benefits arise from mega events, ranging from tourism and employment to improvements in social welfare and infrastructure.
The 2014 World Cup will be the first to establish ecological and social parameters to be met by governments and private companies that participate in its organization. FIFA calls this the "Green Goal" created to mark the concern for the environment and sustainability of mega events.
This article will look into the legal background and practical structuring of agreements on the exploitation of broadcasting rights concluded by Hungarian sports rights holders. Special emphasis will be devoted to providing an overview (i) on the provisions of the Hungarian Sports Act ('Sports Act') on the exploitation of broadcasting rights and (ii) on the practical background of agreements on joint selling of broadcasting rights entered into by sports associations. In this article the term 'broadcasting rights' refers to the right to broadcast sports events through television, radio and platforms of new media (internet and mobile).1
The Sport Lawyer and everyone in the Sports Group at Thomas Eggar LLP wishes Team GB and all the athletes competing at London 2012 the best of luck for the coming fortnight. It is sure to be a great celebration of sport and competition.
In this Olympic special edition of The Sport Lawyer blog we share our views on topcia Olypmic issues:
- To select or not to select....
- Disputes at the Games?
- The Sports Resolutions Pro Bono Legal Service
- Fighting ambush marketing – Paddy Power V LOCOG
- Use of Twitter by competitors at the Games
The commercial appropriation or exploitation of a person’s identity and associated images are commercially valuable, particularly for individuals such as actors, musicians and athletes who commercialise their images in association with the promotion of products or services. These days it is not only about talent, it’s just as much, or even more, about the brand. Often a career in sport is at its height at a young age, but if the brand can be built and protected, it is possible to capitalise on that talent for years after retirement and even after death.
A footballer's 'image rights' can form an essential part of his earning potential and the use of the term has become increasingly common when reading about footballers' wages. Wayne Rooney, Sol Campbell and the ubiquitous, David Beckham are all high profile players whose earnings from image rights are at the top end of the spectrum and have often been dissected by the press.
Gary Hughes, of Wilson Harle in New Zealand, reflects on what lessons the FIFA World Cup and IRB Rugby World Cup may hold for the London Olympics
Three quadrennials, the Olympic Games, and the FIFA football and IRB rugby world cups, stand on the podium of global sporting tournaments, with lucrative cashflows from sales of commercial and broadcast rights that are the envy of other event promoters.
Those revenues derive from very large sponsorship deals, organised into complex layers of contracts, property or licence rights, as well as other income streams including media and publishing rights, merchandising, accommodation, catering and hospitality packages.
Increasing numbers of sports clubs and bodies are using the expertise of third party specialists, be it for websites, apps, social networks or gaming platforms to interact with their fans domestically and internationally. However, there appears to be a disconnect in terms of understanding the legal requirements and obligations the clubs are under when outsourcing (by way of a licence) or selling a database to a third party. While data protection is not the most exciting topic to many it is particularly important with the Information Commissioner Officer (“ICO”) having the power to levy significant fines of up to £500,000 for breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“Act”).
A recent ECJ ruling has the potential to spark fundamental changes in the way TV rights are sold in the EU, although for the short term at least the status quo is likely to remain.
Prior to an EU Court of Justice (“ECJ”) ruling on 4 October 2011 few people were likely to have heard of Karen Murphy. However, the same could have been said about Belgian league football player Jean-Marc Bosman prior to another ECJ ruling on 15 December 1995.
Professional football today is a business and clubs are looking to maximise their revenue streams particularly in the light of the introduction of UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations (“FFPRs”). One way in which clubs have sought, and indeed are increasingly seeking to, additional revenue is from the sale of stadia naming rights.
This, the first in a series of articles looking at various aspects of sports broadcasting, focuses on the emerging television market for US ‘Major League Soccer’ (MLS). Whilst the United States is well known for its entertainment and sports industries, football (or soccer as it is better known in North America), has yet to experience the growth that many predicted.