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NFL to Use Photographers to Promote Sponsors

NFL logoAdFreak recently commented on the NFL’s latest rule change requiring sideline still photographers to wear league-supplied vests carrying two of its sponsors’ logos (Reebok and Cannon) on the back. This raises an interesting question for asset owners and advertisers alike ‘€¦ how far does ‘€œownership’€ extend? In this case, who ‘€œowns’€ the photographers’ clothing? The NFL? The Newspapers that employ them? Or…<GASP>… do the photographers themselves actually have a say in the matter?

While the journalists affected argue the issue of bias, there’s also a pretty basic question of money. I may be out of line here, but somehow I don’t think the NFL is sharing their sponsorship revenue with the newspapers or photographers affected. Plus, making matters slightly worse, by requiring these reporters to wear vests emblazoned with the NFL sponsors, the league is effectively eliminating the papers’ or individuals’ right to make their own deals and generate additional revenue streams.

Which brings us back to the original question: exactly how far can an organization go when declaring possession of people, places or things? And then selling them to someone else…

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