We have contracts for a reason. They set out the rules and expectations for us all to operate in a sponsorship for the good of all and they are set out with all the right intentions – to do good work but also to protect ourselves.
What happens, however, when we get blindsided and things change so quickly, through no fault of any of the contracted parties?
Sure, we know that the contracts all have force majeure clauses but how does that reconcile with our often-spruiked approach that sponsorships should be a true relationship?
Also, how does that reconcile with sponsors, as a collective group, who would want the sport and entertainment industry to return to normal as quickly as possible so that they can activate sponsorships and reach their target audiences? Surely there is a vested interest in working things through?
Yet, how does that happen when so many businesses are directly threatened and are dealing with an ever-changing landscape and one where there is no certainty about what the other side looks like? Will in-progress seasons be completed or abandoned? Will one-off events be shifted or simply cancelled? Who knows?
Some see it is an amazing opportunity for rights holders and brands to collaborate on innovation (but that innovation still has to be executed within the contract).
To help work through all of the big issues, James Earl, Partner and Head of Sport Business Group at Fladgate LLP, in London, joins us on the show to answer lots of questions about how we should all be navigating through this legal space right now.
James is regarded as one of the leading experts in the international sports sector because, with over a decade of experience, he has truly unique expertise working with a broad range of national and international governing bodies, funders, teams, clubs, and investors in sport.
James is exceptionally well-connected and his pragmatic guidance is consistently sought by senior stakeholders across the international sports industry. James’ deep level of experience in sport comes from working with Manchester City Football Club, the London 2012 Olympics, 2015 Rugby World Cup and also acting as sole legal adviser to the delivery vehicles for the London 2017 World Athletics and ParaAthletic Championships.
Also joining us on the show is Mark Thompson, KORE Software’s former Head of International Business, who discusses his latest blog about how, in this very tough time for our industry, it is important for us all to be supporting each other in sponsorship to navigate these unknown times.
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