FIFA Pisses Away Free Advertising By Banning F1 Racer's Tribute Helmet To Germany's Futbol Team

from the they-must-hate-money dept

FIFA, the soccer/futbol/whatever organization that theoretically runs a sporting operation sure seems to actually be some kind of steroid-taking IP lawyer in practice instead. Much like the method by which the Olympics does their business, FIFA has always gone overboard in enforcing its trademarks. It insists on getting airline ads that don’t even mention it pulled down, it goes after breweries, and it generally behaves like a psychopathic rich kid who thinks all the toys in the world are his and his alone.

Reader John Katos writes in with the latest head-scratching example of this. Nico Rosberg is big in the world of F1 racing and he wanted to celebrate the German’s winning the World Cup with a helmet in an upcoming race. German pride, in other words, because when has that ever gone wrong?

Earlier this week, delighted with the national team’s world cup victory in Brazil, Mercedes driver Rosberg announced he will wear a “special edition helmet” this weekend in Hockenheim. The 29-year-old German revealed on social media that the livery includes an image of “the FIFA trophy”.

See that thing on top of the helmet? You know, the one that looks like Cthulu’s claw reaching up to grip some kind of golden testicle? Well, that’s the World Cup trophy, which, really you guys, come up with something a little better than that for the World freaking Cup. Regardless, the uber-lawyers over at FIFA saw this display of national pride and free FIFA advertising and took a dump on it.

We reported earlier that reproducing the image of the trophy falls foul of the world football federation FIFA’s strict rules protecting its ‘official marks’. The Mercedes driver’s public relations manager Georg Nolte confirmed: “There will be an update on Nico’s Germany helmet design today.

“(It) will be without (the) world cup trophy, but (now) with four stars on it.”

Yes, rather than working out some kind of way to license the helmet for free so as not to risk the dreaded not-protecting-the-mark penalty that seems to drive so much of this heavy-handed nonsense, FIFA just killed off the free advertising. Quite sporting of them, if you ask absolutely no one.

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Comments on “FIFA Pisses Away Free Advertising By Banning F1 Racer's Tribute Helmet To Germany's Futbol Team”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The original qualifies as a cup. This is not a cup. There should be a law should be a law. You don’t get to call your trophy a cup if it is not a fucking cup regardless if it once was or not. Same thing with belts and medals. Can you imagine if the NFL called the Lombardi Trophy the “Lombardi Belt?” How dumb would that be?

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

As far as I can tell, “Soccer” is just the proper name for a vary specific version of football. “Football” is a generic name referencing at least six different games. When we say “Soccer” we’re just being specific.

To be fair, “American Football” seems to be the correct name to use when referencing the game played in America. So we’re not really being specific ether.

clinton (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The word soccer was actually first used in England to differentiate it from the other football game played at the time which became Rugby. It’s an abbreviation from the term Association Football, it’s just not used any more over here.

And while I have no respect for FIFA as an organisation, I’m pretty sure if a football player had done something similar using a famous FIA symbol, FIA would have reacted the same way.

Nicholas Weaver (profile) says:

The World Cup doesn’t need “free advertising” after the event is over, its absolutely irrelevant. More importantly, it actually would have cost FIFA a lot to say yes.

Hyundai/Kia paid an ungodly sum to be the official car sponsor of the World Cup, for use in advertising world wide. Hyundai was not going to want Mercedes gaining a free ride of world cup association because one of their drivers just happened to be German.

If FIFA had said “yes”, complete with that big Mercedes logo in front of the helmet design, any “benefit” from free advertising would have been lost as now every FIFA sponsor knows that their exclusivity can be diluted at a whim.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

so, what you are proving, is that we have the korporate tail wagging the civilization dog…
reason #158582352 why korporate domination of OUR lives is eeee-vil…

it is NOT that it is or isn’t ‘illegal’ (again, what meaning that has when the 1% ignore laws with impunity, and the 99% get crosswise with secret laws before they get out of bed in the morning), it is that it is IMMORAL…

i know that is an ancient word that has not only ZERO meaning, but NEGATIVE meaning in the korporatocracy we all worship, but some assholes like myself still think being ‘moral’ is an admirable goal over being profitable…

too many do not think that…

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