In the world of professional Esports, sponsorship deals are a team’s bread and butter. Tournaments will offer lofty cash prizes for winners, as well as second place and third place, but there are also hefty travel costs and equipment costs involved to take place in those tournaments. Through sponsorship, your team can receive a steady cash flow and enjoy the resources that come with being attached to a particular brand.
A great sponsorship deal can be a win for both your team and the company that sponsors you, who can then boost their target audience within a particular demographic. But it may also come with all new questions about intellectual property rights: what are your rights and how can you avoid stepping on your sponsor’s rights? Let’s dive deeper in today’s blog.
How Sponsorship Deals Work
The bigger your creative endeavors become, the more your intellectual property can become a currency of sorts. As an Esports team, your main IP is your brand. Your team name, any logos, or unique marketing content for your team might all be sought out for use by potential sponsors. By allowing certain IP rights to sponsors, you and the team receive new revenue that can allow you to boost your brand. This can draw the attention of other sponsors, and the commercial value of your intellectual property continues to grow.
The Right of Publicity
The most common rights that sponsors will seek is the right of publicity. This allows them commercial use of things like your team name or gamer hashtag, your image or likeness, your voice, etc. For instance, sponsors might offer to pay you to promote them in a quick ad or on social media. You may wear their brand name on a team jersey. In exchange, you may get new gear or attire from this sponsor as well as revenue. If a company uses your team name, image or likeness, or voice to promote themselves on social media without your consent, that infringes on your IP rights.
How An Attorney Can Help
When sponsors use your brand, you will be paid royalties. If the sponsor fails to pay royalties for the use of your brand, you have the right to take action against them. It’s a good idea to have an intellectual property lawyer involved at any state of the process. Your attorney can look over your sponsorship deal offer to ensure that it’s fair, can advise you when it comes to selling your IP rights, and can help you protect those rights if they’re misused.
Garcia-Zamor has over two decades of combined experience in the world of intellectual property. Navigating the world of sponsorships and IP rights can seem daunting, but we can help. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.