gaiyou.doc - Introduction Sports law in the United States is not a single or specific legal discipline nor does it comprise any discrete substantive

gaiyou.doc - Introduction Sports law in the United States...

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Introduction Sports law in the United States is not a single or specific legal discipline, nor does it comprise any discrete substantive legal area. Rather it implicates virtually all legal fields and subjects. While there are many topics of importance to sports, intellectual property is one of the most significant. It is through the application of intellectual property law principles that sports figures and sports enterprises are able to secure the economic value of their intangible products. The Economic Value in Sports Corporate sponsors of such events as the Olympic Games routinely pay millions of U. S. dollars or the equivalent in licensing fees for the privilege of identifying their products and services with various sporting contests. 1 Professional sport leagues and 1 The Japanese advertising firm, Hakuhodo, Inc. has reportedly signed a contract with a Chinese sports marketing firm to help find sponsors among cell phone and health drink manufacturers and other consumer businesses to support the 10 th National Games in China (2005). It is suggested that each sponsor will pay between 200-300 million yen ($1.8 – $2.7 million U.S.) as a sponsorship fee. “Japan’s Hakuhodo To Seek Sponsors For China’s National Games,” Asia Pulse Pte Inc (October 12, 2004); in 2004 American Major League Baseball culminated a six year deal worth approximately $275 million with Dentsu, Inc. for the continued broadcast of its games in Japan and concessions in Japan rose by 264% since the year 2000, Major League International 2004; NBC allegedly paid $790 million for the Olympic broadcast privileges in the United States. Vince Horiuchi, “Broadcasters’ Grip Keeps Olympics Footage Off The Web,” The Salt Lake Tribune (August 25, 2004). It is estimated that about 30% of the approximately 2 billion Euros ($2.4 Billion U.S.) it cost to stage the 2004 Olympics was derived from corporate sponsors. World Soccer Cup sponsorship is estimated to cost approximately 5 billion yen. “Companies Race to Sponsor Sports,” The Nikkei Weekly (Japan) (August 23, 2004); “One vital factor in making the Olympics financially stable has been the growth of television coverage and the related TV broadcast right fees. Television is the medium through which the world sees and experiences the Olympics. In fact, more than four billion people around the world saw the recent opening ceremonies of this year's Athens Olympics. The IOC earns billions from TV rights alone. NBC paid $3.55 billion for the rights to five Summer and Winter Olympics for the years 2000 to 2008. Manolo R. Iigo,“Sponsors Keep The Olympics Going,” Philippine Daily Inquirer (August 23, 2004); “Samsung declined to reveal the cost of the sponsorship and other related marketing expenses (for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens), citing IOC regulations, but estimations run between $100 million to $200 million according to market insiders. That includes about $10 million that reportedly was spent to support the global Olympic torch relay, the first in the history of the quadrennial games.
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