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Sponsorship agreements: what rights do brands have?

Commenting on the impact the recent allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo could have on his sponsorship agreements, Mishcon de Reya Commercial Lawyer Simon Leaf – who specialises in such contracts – said:

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the biggest names in world sport – he has spent many years building up his reputation as not only one of the world’s greatest ever footballers, but also as a valuable asset to the brands that he works with.

The allegations made over the past week, relating to conduct in 2009, will no doubt lead to his major sponsors checking their sponsorship agreements with the player to see what rights they have. This is likely to include not only their rights to terminate or suspend the relationship if the allegations prove to be accurate, but also whether they may be able to recover past fees paid to him.

Recovering amounts that have already paid where there is merit in allegations such as this can be more challenging. Being able to do so would ultimately depend on the contractual terms, and whether the sponsors can demonstrate that any such incident should have been revealed prior to entering into a contract with the sponsor.”

Simon featured on Sky News and BBC 5 live Drive commenting on this issue.

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