Footballers' Image Rights in the New Media Age



Haynes R (2007) Footballers' Image Rights in the New Media Age. European Sport Management Quarterly, 7 (4), pp. 361-374.

Image rights, broadly defined as the commercial appropriation of someone's personality, including indices of their image, voice, name and signature, have become increasingly important in the political economy of media sport. A range of legal, economic and political arguments have developed in the UK as to what image rights actually are, their legal efficacy and their potential impact on developments in the long-standing relationship between sport and the media. This paper focuses on the problematic definition of the term in the UK context and how it relates to certain economic and commercial transformations in British football. Using the English Premier League and the ‘celebrity footballer’ David Beckham as its primary focus, the paper traces the rise of image rights clauses in player contracts. This process is analysed in the context of rapid and dramatic change in the media coverage of the sport. The paper focuses on the growing legal complexities of protecting star images in relation to the Internet and the wider issues of football, fandom and popular culture.

Football; Image Rights; New Media; Celebrity; Soccer law and legislation; Professional athletes Legal status, laws, etc.

European Sport Management Quarterly: Volume 7, Issue 4

Publication date31/12/2007
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)

People (1)


Professor Richard Haynes
Professor Richard Haynes

Professor, Communications, Media and Culture