imradmin/reportimg/Law report
ISBN: 978-1-905685-26-
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Sports Sponsorship & the Law


Review by Alfonso Valero, Co-Editor, Solicitor and Abogado

Sports Sponsorship & the Law is a report edited by Stephan Fabien and published by International Marketing Reports.

The idea of the text is brilliant: a compilation of all the must know information about sponsorship for managers of companies which need to face a great deal of decisions about the topic. But not only that, the report is also good for practitioners who want to read experts' opinions as well as academics and students involved with sponsorship; a great deal of people interested in this industry would be attracted to this publication.

The report draws opinions from different operators: best known solicitors (Bird and Bird, K&L Gates, Farrer & Co, Onside Law amongst others); barristers (Jonathan Crystal, of Cloister Chambers) and clubs (Zoë Ward, of Liverpool FC).

The structure is very complete: ten different articles covering various aspects of sponsorship, from the listed events, to ambush marketing, including a review of alcohol and betting, morality and reputation clauses and individual athletes' sponsorship. Very topical issues.

Topical, of course, doesn't always mean 'current', as some of the authors still mention 'Victoria Park', a case of the Australian High Court... of 1937! and Irvine vs Talksport Ltd (of 2003) as the authorities for the topic of ambush marketing. Some of the bibliographic references are made to the first edition of a book which second edition is of 2003!

The articles do go back to excessively academic sources for reference, instead of looking at current affairs that readers would be able to identify with. For this latter approach, see the two fantastic articles of Sweeney and Castro (of Teacher Stern LLP) and Jonathan Crystal, of Cloisters. Both these articles speak about events as recent as 2010. And that's what the reader wants to see, not some re-visitation of Victoria Park. I missed more references to this year's World Cup, to Tiger Woods, to John Terry.

Sometimes the presentation of the text is confusing, but, overall, the information is very useful. A solution will not always be offered to the reader, but that's not what this report is for. It points out different problems and various things to take into account. In that line, the article of Cotton, from Farrer & Co, which recaps many different elements of risk for when the relation between sponsor and sponsored may fail.

I recommend the report, knowing that it shouldn't be taken as legal advice, but as a guide which should be followed up with some professional assistance. I recommend the publisher to amend the errors in future editions to make the publication even more valuable.

Alfonso Valero


Official Supplier

European Sponsorship Association
Media Partner