Thursday, December 04, 2008

Little League sponsorship continued

More on Little League Baseball and corporate sponsors.

I spoke today with Chris Downs, a Little League Baseball spokesman. Here's what I learned.

Little League sponsors DO have the right to picture real Little Leaguers playing in real Little League World Series games in their advertising.

These caveats apply:

Only "official sponsors" have this right.

Only images that portray kids playing by the rules - e.g., catchers wearing mandatory throat guards - are allowed.

Only still photography of kid players is permitted. No video.

I asked Chris Downs for his assessment of the Wilson/DeMarini video posted here yesterday. "Based on the established parameters I am aware of, it certainly doesn't violate any rules," he told me.

I asked whether the parents/guardians of Little League World Series players are asked to sign a release, granting permission for these images to be used by corporate sponsors. Yes, Downs said.

Apologies to Wilson for inferring in yesterday's post that the video in question used players in an unauthorized way.

Bottom line: Sponsors have the legal right.

Question: Is it right?

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