Category Archives: Sports Marketing

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A Slam Dunk For Trademarking Sports Catchphrases

By Ryan Hilbert Following on the heels of New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow’s attempt to register the trademark "Tebowing," Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs’ attempt to register the trademark "Ball So Hard University," and New York Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin’s attempt to register the trademark "Linsanity," it appears that another high-profile athlete, former University of … Continue Reading

Losing Games: Player Strikes Adversely Affect Sponsorship Agreements

The end of the collective bargaining agreement between a professional sports league and the players association that represents the athletes triggers a series of dominos: The players go on strike, the league implements a lock-out of the players, the parties meet over the course of several weeks to try to negotiate a new deal, both … Continue Reading

March Madness Isn’t for Everyone

It’s that time of year again. College campuses around the country are buzzing, co-workers are whispering about office pools, and “bracketology” is the popular science of the day. The NCAA men’s basketball tournament season, aka “March Madness,” has begun. To tap into the vast media audiences generated by the NCAA Tournament (the “Tournament”), ambush marketers … Continue Reading

Stealing the Show?

The image of 36 women wearing skimpy orange dresses at a World Cup soccer match last June raised the ire of Fédération Internationale de Football Association ("FIFA"), which had two of the women arrested for organizing the ambush marketing stunt on behalf of Dutch beer brewer Bavaria. Meanwhile, Nike’s "Write the Future" soccer-themed commercial, which … Continue Reading

In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation: Former Athletes Seek A Share Of NCAA Licensing Profits

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) profits handsomely from the increasingly lucrative collegiate licensing and merchandising market— estimated to be worth $4 billion annually. Yet, current and former NCAA athletes do not share in these licensing fees. Two ways that the NCAA has accomplished this result are by requiring NCAA athletes to sign away their … Continue Reading

On Your Marks, Get Set…. Ambush!

  The image of Michael Phelps “swimming” across a Midwestern wheat field toward Vancouver recently raised the ire of the United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”), which characterized the image as “crossing the line.” But is the USOC’s position legally warranted, or is the image nothing more than a lawful and effective ambush marketing campaign? The … Continue Reading

The Athlete Endorsement Game

Successful athlete endorsements can enhance consumer recognition of a brand and increase the relative perceived value of the products being endorsed. But securing a high-profile endorsement often requires lengthy negotiation and certainly comes at a high cost of entry. For example, Nike reportedly paid Tiger Woods over twenty million dollars for his endorsement, and Peyton … Continue Reading

Endorsement Agreements: Guild Jurisdiction And Allocation Guidelines Both Being Challenged

Although the WGA strike is reportedly near an end, the strike has naturally made it harder to find paid acting jobs in film and television, causing a greater number of Hollywood celebrities (and their agents and other reps) to pursue endorsement opportunities and the money that follows.  The money, however, doesn’t just go to the … Continue Reading
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