Football clubs are always a source of fun and entertainment for trade mark lawyers, and this story from the Sunday Times is no exception. The Prufrock column reports that Arsenal is at the centre of a sponsorship struggle. Currently Arsenal FC shirts are sponsored by the mobile phone company O2 under a contract that is set to run until the end of 2005. Chelsea FC shirts are sponsored by the airline, Emirates. However, Chelsea has made it clear that they wish to dispense with Emirates’ services. Emirates therefore is on the lookout for new sponsorship opportunities and has set its sights on Arsenal. Much to the displeasure of O2, Emirates is in talks with Arsenal over naming rights to Arsenal’s new stadium. Even more worrying for the mobile phone company, Emirates is said to be keen to secure the sponsorship deal for Arsenal’s shirts too.

The IPKat marvels at what could be an example of ambush marketing par excellence. While normally it is the sponsored team’s fans that introduce a rival brand into a sponsored event, here, if the Emirates stadium naming deal goes ahead, it could be the result of the actions of the sponsored team itself.

Arsenal’s new stadium here
Helpful advice for visiting the new stadium here
The world’s most unfortunately-named fan website here
NEW STADIUM LEADS TO BRAND BOTHER NEW STADIUM LEADS TO BRAND BOTHER Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, October 03, 2004 Rating: 5


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