Our global Media, Sport & Entertainment Hub provides insights into various legal and commercial issues impacting on this space.

As part of our “HUB FOCUS” series, we provide an extract, focusing on some of the legal issues arising in relation to the acquisition and ownership of rights in sporting events in Germany.

A key issue for rights owners/acquirers is finding the most effective way to protect and legally enforce their rights to the sporting event.

This typically involves:

  • A combination of security at the relevant venues and trade mark registrations
  • Taking measures to prevent ambush marketing activities from those looking to use the event to gain exposure through unauthorised advertising activity. Anti-ambush activity includes:
    • purchasing advertising hoardings in the vicinity of the event
    • educating and engaging local traders
    • using contractual controls to ensure event suppliers do not promote their goods in a way which could harm the value of a sponsor’s rights

Another issue for the rights owner is to decide the best way of structuring the rights that it offers. This typically involves the rights owner splitting the available rights into different packages, which are then sold on an exclusive basis. Rights owners design the packages to ensure maximum interest in the markets where they are offered. Parties that are interested in buying the packages are usually asked to take part in a competitive tender. The rights owner must give careful consideration to both:

  • the management and timings of that tender process
  • how the packages will interrelate with both other packages and other media rights/hosting arrangements

Other key issues for rights owners and rights acquirers include:

  • the impact of any regulatory framework in the relevant territory
  • risk management
  • remedies and insurance
  • security and terrorism
  • the activation of any rights, product production and sales networks for promotional products produced.”