“College Sponsorships in the Time of Covid-19 and What to Consider,” Sports Litigation Alert

November 20, 2020

In an article published on November 20, 2020 in Sports Litigation Alert (Volume 17, Issue 22), Bruce Siegal provides insight on college sponsorship during the time of COVID-19 and the key considerations moving forward.

As 2020 comes to a close, COVID-19 has caused many intercollegiate athletics conferences across all three NCAA divisions to cancel or postpone events or modify competition schedules through the end of the calendar year, and likely beyond. This has created uncertainty among the NCAA, BCS, conferences and collegiate institutions regarding the available level of revenue streams, including NCAA and conference distributions, sponsorship and game-day revenue. Such revenue streams are critical to funding men’s and women’s sports.

“The cancellation or postponement of events can dramatically impact the sponsor’s marketing and brand-building strategies, as well as programs designed around the launch of a new product or service,” explains Siegal. As such, sponsorship partners may be seeking to cancel, modify, suspend, or re-negotiate payments under existing agreements. Maintaining these revenue streams from disruption may be possible depending on certain factual circumstances, the language and governing law of the contract, and the desire to preserve long term relationship between the collegiate institution and sponsor. 

In the article, Siegal outlines the key considerations given the impact of Covid-19, including:

  • Agreement Review;
  • Sports Majeure; and,
  • Importance of taking the longview.

“As COVID-19 continues to impact the collegiate world and as parties work to establish contingency plans, informed and open discussions should be promptly pursued by collegiate institutions and sponsors to protect their respective interests under various sponsorship and other agreements,” concludes Siegal.

To read the full article, please click here

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