Sports and Apparel

Media Licensing Compliance for Sports

Ensuring that sports brands stay on the right side of copyright laws.

Music amplifies the emotions of sports. But as sports coverage and content propagate online, sports brands must take precautions to mitigate the risk of copyright infringement.

Music is part of the immersive sports experience. The way its soundtrack inspires and unites is part of its enduring appeal, whether it be thousands of fans singing a club anthem or a signature score. But it’s not just the familiar refrain of a popularized fan favorite or theme. Commercial music tracks have become an increasing part of the stadium experience and also serve as the backdrop to many sports highlights and features online.

Rights holders are aware of the role played by their valuable music assets, requiring caution from sports brands – individual infringements can mean a fine of $150k.

Professional sports leagues are producing video reels on platforms like YouTube Shorts, using popular songs as their soundtrack. As such, the affiliation between music and sport has expanded and become more complex, both in commercial and practical terms. Rights holders are acutely aware of the role played by their valuable musical assets, and sports leagues and teams must act with caution and proactivity when it comes to copyright laws.

Sports clubs and leagues must play it safe when it comes to music rights.

Adding a song to a video reel may seem innocuous to a marketing team. But without the appropriate license to share that song on a specific channel, they are at risk of infringing copyright laws. Sports teams can equally be caught out when posting highlights or interviews online and in-stadium music is audible. In both cases, the repercussions can be costly. One sports team was required to pay a six-figure sum for infringing music copyright.

OpSec understands the complexities of navigating copyright responsibilities.

  • Ensuring the preparedness of sports clubs and leagues.
    We offer a fully-managed service to help elite leagues and teams comply with music copyrighting laws, simply and cost effectively. It starts with monitoring content to find copyrighted music. Detected audio is analyzed against over 100 million tracks from more than 400,000 music labels to quickly identify relevant rights holders. With this audio checking service, sports brands can be confident of comprehensive coverage across major social media platforms and other online channels, such as websites and blogs.

  • Being proactive to prevent infringement.
    Our managed service is fully flexible to suit the requirements and characteristics of each customer. We can either audit historic online content or analyze video files before content is published online, so brands can take a proactive approach to prevent copyright infringement. We then provide details of any copyrighted music in weekly reports, including information about the rights holders. This equips brands with the data to obtain the necessary licenses, while a dedicated account manager helps navigate the program.

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