Category Archives: Sports

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Golden Rules: The Rule 40 Deadline is Nearing the (Slalom) Gate; Advertisers Cannot Just (Figure) Skate Over the Regulation

Summer may just be heating up, but advertisers should already be thinking about and planning for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games because the “Rule 40” deadline is fast approaching. The opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics isn’t until February 9th of next year, but advertisers that are not official Team USA sponsors but want … Continue Reading

Court Refuses to Dismiss Celebrity Endorsement Breach Of Contract Case

We’ve never reposted a blog, but in light of Ryan Lochte’s being robbed, then exaggerating being robbed and now maybe not exaggerating so much, and Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit out the National Anthem, we thought this oldie but goodie on celebrity endorsers and morals clauses was worth dusting off. One quick update on the … Continue Reading

Golden Rules: Counterfeits and the Olympics

Demand for Olympic merchandise in the United States is resurrected every 4 years by the fervor of the televised Games. Officially, authorized and licensed gear is readily available in stores and on the Internet; however, every iteration of the Games brings with it a flood of counterfeit Olympic goods as well. The broadcasting of this … Continue Reading

Golden Rules: Diving Into Rule 40

The next issue in our series of blog posts about the Olympics considers “Rule 40,” which can get both advertisers and athletes into trouble. We think Rule 40 deserves a gold medal for generating buzz in the advertising world, and a silver for generating confusion. Rule 40 restricts participants in the Olympic Games (i.e., competitors, … Continue Reading

Golden Rules: Lowering the Uneven Bars on Likelihood of Confusion

With the opening ceremony for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games less than 1 month away, Olympic sponsors and non-sponsors alike are thinking about how they may be able to capitalize on the event’s popularity. Brands must, however, beware of using Olympic trademarks (as discussed in our previous blog post, Golden Rules: Wrestling with the Use … Continue Reading

The Big Game Turns 50

We had several reactions to the game on Sunday.  What were yours?  As two people both of whom are looking at their thirties in the rear view mirror, it was hard not to root for the old guy, as much as we also love Cam Newton.  And as advertising lawyers it sometimes seems like we … Continue Reading

When It Comes to the Year’s Biggest Sporting Events, Don’t Fumble Your Ad Campaign

Will the Patriots’ dreams of heading to this year’s Super Bowl® get deflated? What, exactly, will Olympic® gold medalist Ryan Lochte do in Rio? How much madness will March cause? This year will be a big one for sports fans and advertisers alike, with Super Bowl 50 and March Madness® around the corner, followed this … Continue Reading

UPDATE: Craig Ehlo knew it, and now Jewel Food Stores knows it: you don’t mess around with Mike

A quick update on our earlier blog about a lawsuit involving a supermarket that congratulated Michael Jordan on his Hall of Fame induction in an ad and included a $2 off coupon for steaks without his consent.  A jury just awarded Michael Jordan $8.9 million in damages which was close to the $10 million sought … Continue Reading

FIFA Fame to Shame – How Brands Can Protect against Potential Reputational Harm Resulting from Relationships with Scandalized Organizations

FIFA, the International Federation Soccer Association which is in charge of awarding lucrative World Cup hosting rights and promoting soccer worldwide, has longstanding sponsorship relationships and contracts with some of the largest global corporations. FIFA is supported by hundreds of millions of sponsorship dollars; however, the organization’s sponsorship relationships are being challenged by recent events, … Continue Reading

ESPN’s Fantasy Fulfilled? Network Reportedly Nearing Purchase of Significant Stake in Fantasy Sports Site DraftKings

While March Madness has cooled down, the news around fantasy sports keeps heating up.  We recently wrote about the National Advertising Division (NAD) decision in the dispute between the two leading daily fantasy sports sites, DraftKings and FanDuel.  ESPN is reportedly in talks with DraftKings to invest $250 million in the company.  For years, the … Continue Reading

Fantasy League Competitors Battle on the NAD Court for Decision Over Who Can Claim “Largest US-Based Website”

We love a good March Madness legal blog (see here and here and here)  and NAD gave us some great fodder this month deciding a case between two large daily fantasy sports league websites.   This one wasn’t exactly an upset like so many of the games this year leading to the Sweet 16.   DraftKings claimed … Continue Reading

FTC’s Letters to Retailers Regarding Concussion-Related Products Has Us Scratching Our Heads

It is almost football season and the FTC tries to stay seasonal; around this time in 2012, it announced a settlement with football mouthguard manufacturer Brain-Pad regarding unsubstantiated concussion prevention claims.  Subsequently, the FTC has sent warning letters to other manufacturers of sporting equipment regarding concussion prevention claims.  This year, however, the FTC has called … Continue Reading

Can We Get a Mulligan?

Dueling Driver Campaigns Missing the Fairway with the NAD: Thoughts on How to Avoid the Sand-Traps Going Forward Their drivers consistently face-off on the green. Now two of golf’s leading names in equipment have gone head-to-head on a different course: the fairways of the NAD, with Taylor Made and Callaway filing competing challenges with the … Continue Reading

Going For The Gold Without Getting Disqualified — Marketing Around The Olympics

As the anticipation for the Olympics grows, companies big and small look to grab the attention of these fans by associating themselves with the games. For the Olympics, the host organizing committee, individual country committees, and television partners this means big business by selling sponsorships and licensing use of their intellectual property. But as recent … Continue Reading

Court Refuses to Dismiss Celebrity Endorsement Breach Of Contract Case

We don’t usually blog about celebrity endorsements, unless the issue relates to the FTC’s endorsement guides or blogging restrictions, but something recently in the news caught our eye and might not have caught yours (unless like one of us you were hypothetically surfing MSNBC Sports during lunch). Most endorsement contracts have a morals clause that … Continue Reading

British Religious Group Doesn’t Stand a Prayer Against the ASA

Healing on the Streets (HOTS) recently went up against the ASA, a British self-regulatory advertising watchdog and lost, in a case that demonstrates the difference having a First Amendment makes. HOTS promoted a leaflet on its website that said: “NEED HEALING? GOD CAN HEAL TODAY! Do you suffer from Back Pain, Arthritis, MS, Addiction … … Continue Reading