Advertiser, sponsor agreements necessary for business associations

When a business signs on to be a sponsor of a big-name brand — such as a popular annual event or entertainment venue or sports franchise — they’re expecting to benefit from the goodwill and exposure associated with that brand. In a business Q&A with The Oklahoman, McAfee & Taft intellectual property attorney Chase Webb outlined what advertising sponsors need to do to ensure they get everything for which they bargained.

“Advertisers should negotiate and execute what’s called a sponsorship agreement, which governs the legal relationship between a business and an advertiser,” said Webb. “These agreements give the advertiser the legal right to use the businesses’ intellectual property (i.e., their logo) in association with the advertiser’s brand, and lay out the restrictions for how the brand will be seen and used.”

He also cautioned advertisers to make sure a sponsorship agreement has been fully executed before associating with that brand and using its intellectual property. “Using a business’ logo in association with the advertiser before a sponsorship agreement is in place can have several legal repercussions, including trademark infringement,” he said.