Big events always are a dream for marketers, especially when the audience is large. The World Cup off course is one of those events, probably even the biggest in the World, even bigger than the Olympics some say. If you are trying to be active around the World Cup you might want to be careful with what you share. Even a Vine or animated gif could get you into trouble.
There are a lot of regulations around these events which make that the official sponsors get all the exposure they pay for, for example specific types of drinks are only served in stadiums. But whether you are a sponsor or not, one way or another almost every business wants to get ‘into the game’ of marketing around the World Cup. Whether it is with Panini stickers or different types of marketing, businesses will try and get something out of it.
Online this means that there are a lot of references to the World Cup. I myself am guilty of that, trying to look at the influence of marketing on the results. Mostly you will see businesses respond to what is happening in Brazil using Social Media. Some take it quite far actually, like Mashable, and are becoming semi-reporters of the World Cup. But it might get them in trouble.
ESPN sending take down requests
The American broadcaster ESPN is covering the World Cup as one of the official broadcasters. Which means they are officially licensed to show the footage of the games.
ESPN now has had enough of others sharing ‘their’ content and are taking action: they are sending out take down requests social accounts who are posting videos, Vines or animated gifs of the goals.
An official statement of ESPN says:
“We are assisting FIFA by notifying it and its takedown vendor, Net Results, of uses of World Cup content that we believe encroach on our licensed rights,”
ESPN and Univision are focusing on footage of goals. They sent in copyright strikers to take down videos of World Cup goals. This even resulted in the suspension of two Social Media accounts from sports site SB Nation.
Can they just do this?
Yes they can.
If you look at the history of copyright it makes sense. ESPN, in this case working with Univision, have paid a lot of money for the rights to the games and they are seeing their content being spread around the web, without getting anything back from it.
They want to ‘protect’ what they bought. And since they have the rights to the games, they are free to do so. After all they paid $100 million for it. Though there are some flaws in the law, ESPN seems to have (most of) the law on their side.
Funny enough not everyone is targeted by ESPN. Some brands like SB Nation are, some Vine videos are, some Twitter accounts are, but Mashable for example seems to be all right.
What does this mean for you?
Simply put it means you have to watch your steps. Putting up footage of goals might get you in trouble. IF you want to get into the game make sure you use footage which is not goal related. ESPN for example seems to be fine with footage from fans in the stadium.
So if you want to do something, try focusing on other elements like the goals. You can always try, like Mashable, but if you want to be sure, be creative.
Something which will help you stand out more as well. Because with what type of content do you think you will stand out: the goals, or the funny fans or the cats from Mashable?
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