FIFA licence issues of Olympic proportions

With the Olympics legislation under debate, the promotions industry has recently tasted the impact of issues that many fear will suffocate its activities in the run-up to 2012.

Promotions for the World Cup are facing problems that are wrapped up in extreme limitations and confusion. In developing promotions for our Escape brand, we found that it is very difficult to purchase individual tickets for one game only – they have to be part of a package, which makes it prohibitively expensive. We are even unable to use the words “World Cup” as part of any promotion or prize competition. As a result, we have to be highly creative in terms of what we offer, for instance travel to African Nations Cup games and screening matches at Odeon cinemas.

While we respect and understand the need to protect such a valuable licence, we do feel that FIFA is being over-zealous on this. Supporting this view, and adding further to the confusion, is the recent legal case in Germany, where a court ruled that a fan who bought tickets on eBay is entitled to use them, even though his name is not on the ticket face. FIFA insisted that he had acquired the tickets unfairly.

Major event organisers must provide greater clarity and flexibility, otherwise there will be no promotions.

David Lebond

Executive director

P&MM, Travel & Leisure Promotions

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