- Journal Archives
- Volume 16
- Volume 15
- Volume 14
- Volume 13
- Volume 12
- Volume 11
- Volume 10
- Volume 9
- Volume 8
- Volume 7
- Volume 6
- Volume 5
- Volume 4
- Volume 3
- Volume 2
- Volume 1
British Premier League club Newcastle United may be facing a difficult situation with four of its star players. The club recently signed a sponsorship deal with the pay-day loan company Wonga. Under this deal, the Wonga logo will appear front and center on the Newcastle kits (jerseys). The problem is that Newcastle players Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa, and Cheick Tiote are all practicing Muslims, and Sharia law prohibits benefitting from lending or receiving money, which means that interest is not allowed. There are reports that Ba, Cisse, Ben Arfa, and Tiote might refuse to wear the newly adorned shirts, which obviously puts the club in an awkward position.
On the one hand, Newcastle must honor its contract with Wonga. On the other, it would be unwise to upset a group of four players that have contributed 12 of Newcastle’s 13 goals so far this season. That being said, kit sponsorships are often some of the most lucrative deals for European football clubs. Unlike in most American sports leagues where jerseys contain only team logos and colors, European football clubs typically sell the “advertising space” on their jerseys to the highest bidder. Newcastle is now in a position where it has made a deal with a controversial company and could face repercussions on the soccer pitch from unhappy players.
This would not be the first time that a footballer has voiced complaint about a kit sponsorship. In Spain, former Seville striker Frederic Kanoute requested not to wear that club’s 888.com emblazoned shirt. In that case, the club allowed him to wear a jersey that was blank where the advertisement normally goes.
Should Newcastle consider doing that for these four players? How will Wonga react to the best players on the Newcastle team refusing to wear the logo? Is this type of advertising even appropriate in sports? Should players have a say in what advertising logos appear on their chests?
–Tracy R. Hancock
Recent Blog Posts
- Nickelodeon’s Kids v. Google
- Ivanpah Solar Plant’s Firey Clash of Environmental Objectives
- The Silk Road: An Insight Into the Future of Internet Regulation?
- JETLaw Symposium on Intellectual Property Tomorrow
- San Jose Strikes Out Again in Suit Against MLB
- National Marine Fisheries Service Enters the Electronic Age
Tagsadvertising antitrust Apple books career celebrities contracts copyright copyright infringement courts creative content criminal law entertainment Facebook FCC film/television financial First Amendment games Google government intellectual property internet JETLaw journalism lawsuits legislation media medicine Monday Morning JETLawg music NFL patents privacy progress publicity rights radio social networking sports Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) technology telecommunications trademarks Twitter U.S. Constitution