Sponsorship
Sponsorship

The following Commercial guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Sponsorship
  • Introduction
  • Types of sponsorship
  • Key components of a sponsorship deal
  • Consideration
  • Protection of sponsorship
  • Compliance with law and regulation
  • Liability issues
  • After the term ends

Introduction

This Practice Note provides an overview of the key elements of a sponsorship deal including establishing a sponsorship hierarchy for multiple sponsors, exclusivity arrangements, standard and additional rights commonly found in a sponsorship deal, fees and payment by value-in-kind, protection of sponsorship as well as compliance and regulation issues.

Brands are increasingly looking to align themselves with events or content that consumers care about. For this reason sponsors are increasingly aligning themselves with areas outside of the traditional sports sponsorship model, for example there has been significant growth in sponsorship of music events and artists, sectors that brands traditionally shied away from due to the myriad of rights owners.

English law does not recognise the existence of proprietary rights in a sports (or other) event. It follows that there is no such recognised right as ‘sponsorship rights’ to an event, team or league. The sponsorship rights granted by rights holders to brands do not exist in and of themselves, rather they are created, exploited and protected via a contractual and legal matrix.

Types of sponsorship

There are many different types of sponsorship opportunities available, including sponsoring:

  1. a team

  2. an individual

  3. an event, or series of events

  4. a venue

  5. content (such as a television programme)

Key components of a sponsorship deal

Sponsorship hierarchy

Sponsorship programmes have developed

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