Naming Rights... What You Can & Can't Say In Ad's

First of all - here's some quick definitions so we are all starting in the same space...

In the private sector, naming rights are a financial transaction and form of advertising whereby a corporation or other entity purchases the right to name a facility or event, typically for a defined period of time.

Sponsorship is almost identical, it is is a way of advertising your brand by “sponsoring” or supporting an event financially in exchange for brand exposure to highly engaged attendees, it usually costs less than naming rights.

ADVANTAGES: The biggest benefit to purchasing the naming rights or sponsorship of an arena or an event is the increase in visibility of your brand name. Whenever the named property or event gains any media attention, the company's name is automatically attached to that.

DISADVANTAGES: Negative associations with your company name or too many changes with the event or facility name can be seen as a negative by the public.

Right! Now that's out of the way...
As you may or may not be aware, some business people try to attached their name or brand to any and every event around (from Mother's Day sales to The Big Game Day Sales) - in order to keep their name in peoples minds - great idea - if done correctly - and legally.

BUT, when it comes to major events, such as the Olympics, or the upcoming 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup - this is a legal minefield.

For example: if you own a restaurant, hotel, club or pub and are planning a 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup luncheon - and are thinking of advertising in the paper, on the radio - printing posters, making props to stand at your business, or posting an ad on social media - THEN STOP NOW!
The legal ramifications of what you are about to commit to ink or audio may result in some major and very costly issues down the track.

This year the Victoria Racing Club are cracking down on the miss-use of the following in any form of advertising and marketing:

1. The words "Melbourne Cup"
2. 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional depictions of the Melbourne Cup Trophy
3. The VRC monogram logo
4. The phrases "The Race that Stops a Nation" and/or "The Celebration that Stops a Nation"
5. Any other logos that include the words "Flemington", "Melbourne Cup" and other sub-brands.

You MUST NOT, without the VRC's written approval use:
1. VRC's trade marks, or trademarks similar to them
2. Us the colour scheme or font by reference to ANYTHING with which the VRC is associated
3. Any logo, wording or other material that may indicate some form of association with the VRC, The Melbourne Cup Carnival or Flemington Racecourse.

You also can't use photos, footage, replays or any other material that has an association with the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup.
And you also cannot make reference to Fashions on the Field, or Spring Events, or Horse Racing.... leading up to the event.


Now: As a radio station, we have paid for the right to broadcast the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup, but if you are an advertiser... what can you do?

Here is a short list of phrases you 'could use' instead of going with the traditional advertising you would normally use with such a commercial:

Cup Day
The Race
The Big Race
Cup Luncheon
Cup Day Lunch
The Day Of Days
Races On The Big Screen
The Cup Event Of The Year 
Excitement Of The Big Race
Australia’s Richest Horse Race
The Day Its Okay To Be A Princess
The Race That Slows Down The Nation
Celebrating Melbourne’s Fast Horses AND Faster Fashion
Hold On To Your Fascinators And Giddy Up To This Year’s Cup Lunch

Now it goes without saying that the same thing happens regularly with the Olympics, with the AFL Grand Final, The A-League grand final and more.

A quick internet search will usually help you to find the details of any naming rights or sponsorship deals that may be in-place that you should be aware of- and don't think that they won't be monitoring or watching - they do - and your competitor who has gone to the trouble of following the rules may 'dob you in' to them, if you don't!

If you can't find it on-line then check with your media organisation and they should be able to direct you to the correct, legal phrases and items you can and can't use. If requested, we can provide you with the full document from the VRC about what you can and can't do.

Essentially - be careful and don't use it in ANY form of advertising at all - if you are in doubt.



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