The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has officially put its brand protection right into the action.
In recent times, it has been observed the unjustly use of the phrase world cup and how it is being used to promote unaffiliated brands and run campaigns.
Under its brand protection catalog on the official site, it states how certain marketing activities take advantage of the interest a high profile of the event by creating exposure without approval from the organizers. The marketers want to gain of the goodwill and positive image generated by the FIFA World Cup™ without contributing to its organization.
Marketing activities are said to be of a direct or indirect nature. A direct association is established when a brand tries to link itself directly to the event, be it through advertising or promotions such as ticket giveaways, use of the tournament designations, etc. An indirect association aims to achieve an association with the event without making a direct link, often implementing creative campaigns aimed at achieving a link to the event. These marketing activities are prohibited.
FIFA states that its major reason for considering prohibited marketing as a priority in its brand protection work is that it puts FIFA’s commercial programme directly at risk by trying to devalue official sponsorship. It is also noticed that companies that engage in prohibited marketing fail to appreciate its affiliates.
FIFA also states that its rights holders will only invest in the FIFA World Cup™ if they are provided with this exclusivity. “If anyone could use the Official Marks for free and create an association with the FIFA World Cup™, there would be no reason to become a rights holder and as a result, FIFA would be unable to secure the funding necessary to stage the event”. Therefore, FIFA possesses the power to act when non-affiliated brands do not respect its intellectual property and conduct activities that commercially associate with them.