Venturing into Ambush Marketing and Protecting Sponsorships Requires Careful Planning


As football fans turn their attention to the Super Bowl, companies big and small look to grab the attention of these fans by associating themselves with the big game. For the NFL, teams, and television partners this means big business by selling sponsorships and licensing use of their intellectual property.

Marketing and advertising of sporting events such as the Super Bowl, the NCAA’s Basketball Tournaments, the NBA’s Championship, NHL’s Stanley Cup Tournament, FIFA’s World Cup, and the Olympics offer huge potential benefits for companies, and large companies pay millions of dollars a year to associate themselves with prominent sporting events and movie and television award ceremonies.

For companies (including charities) that venture into this area of advertising and marketing, there are significant inherent legal risks in associating your company with third-party trademarks and slogans and other entities without permission. Companies entering this arena will want to take proper steps to ensure they are adequately protected. Companies that operate outside the rules could find themselves on the wrong end of a legal action.

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