IP and the business of sport
IP lies at the heart of the huge commercial opportunities offered by the world of sport. IP rights (especially patents, trademarks and broadcasting rights) - and the legal protection they give – help to secure the economic value of sport. This in turn stimulates growth of the sports industry, enables sporting organizations to finance high-profile sports events, and provides the means to promote sports development. Business transactions related to sponsorship, merchandising, broadcasting and media deals are all built on IP rights.
The sports industry has a growing impact on the world economy, creating jobs, investing in public infrastructure and mobilizing resources. The global revenue of the sports industry – comprising sponsorships, gate revenues, media rights fees and merchandising – is predicted to reach US$ 133 billion in 2013 from US$ 114 billion in 2009. The annual global turnover of sporting goods (equipment, apparel and footwear) is put at around US$ 300 billion.
From the sports shoe to the swimsuit and the tennis racket to the football, sports technologists have applied their ingenuity, creativity and expertise to develop better and safer equipment in the quest for sporting excellence.
Brands are critical for creating business value, and the sports business is no exception. Strong brands command customer loyalty and premium prices, constituting valuable assets that drive company revenue and growth.
The influence of design in the world of sport is far-reaching. Where image and aesthetics are involved, so too is design, and where new materials emerge, aesthetics or design soon follow.
Copyright and related rights, particularly those relating to broadcasting organizations, underpin the relationship between sport and television and other media.
By acquiring intellectual property (IP) rights and then using them strategically, sports organizations and other rights owners can protect and increase their income-generating potential.
The IP system, and trademarks in particular, play a pivotal role in safeguarding the unique character of the Olympic Games and their identifications, including the Olympic symbol, Olympic emblems, the flag, the torch and the anthem.
WIPO and sport
The economic importance of IP and sport, and their potential contribution to development have led to an increased focus on the issue among WIPO’s member states and throughout the wider United Nations family.
WIPO’s work on building respect for IP in sport is part of its strategic goal to build respect for IP around the world.