Ambush Marketing Policy

NORTHERN TERRITORY MAJOR EVENTS COMPANY

1. OVERVIEW AND SCOPE
1.1 Northern Territory Major Events Company Pty Ltd (NTMEC) is a government owned major events company tasked with the attraction of major sporting and cultural events that provide substantial economic and social benefits to the Northern Territory.

1.2 There are significant costs associated with the hosting and staging of major events in the Northern Territory and NTMEC would not be able to fulfil these obligations without the significant support of Event Partners. In return for that vital financial support and investment, Event Partners are guaranteed an exclusive association with NTMEC and Events, which is protected through this Ambush Marketing Policy.

1.3 Ambush Marketing is any activity or circumstances where a party attempts to associate, market or display that party’s name, logo, brand elements, products or services around an Event without the authority of NTMEC or of the owner of that Event (Ambush Marketing).

1.4 This Ambush Marketing Policy sets out a course of action to reduce the risk of Ambush Marketing and to protect NTMEC and Event Partner commercial rights. It must be read in conjunction with any relevant Event Sponsorship Agreement.

2. NTMEC APPROACH
2.1 NTMEC takes a three tiered approach to rights protection:

(a) Operational: NTMEC has introduced a number of operational and practical strategies to minimise the occurrence of Ambush Marketing
(b) Contractual: Event Partners are afforded strong protections through NTMEC’s standard contracts, including the Event Sponsorship Agreement and Ticket Conditions
(c) Legal: NTMEC owns the copyright in NTMEC Marks and has registered the NTMEC Marks as trademarks and will, where appropriate, take formal legal action.

2.2 NTMEC’s primary approach to rights protection focuses on guidance and direct personal contact rather than threats of legal enforcement. In the event of any Ambush Marketing, NTMEC will take such reasonable, non-judicial steps as may be appropriate in accordance with this Policy with a view to an infringer immediately ceasing the infringement.

2.3 A pragmatic approach ensures the patron experience is not adversely impacted. To be viewed as Ambush Marketing, the behaviour or activity must involve a concerted effort by a group of people to have an unofficial company’s product or service be seen by a television audience or by a large number of Patrons.

2.4 In order to minimise the occurrence of Ambush Marketing, NTMEC has developed operational strategies which can be divided into three key areas:

(a) general brand protection of Event Partners through approval processes and contractual arrangements;
(b) minimisation of Ambush Marketing within a Venue where NTMEC can control terms of access; and
(c) minimisation of Ambush Marketing outside a Venue but within its immediate surrounds where NTMEC has some control.

2.5 NTMEC must approve each use of each NTMEC Mark, including in Advertising Materials and on Products, Premiums and Merchandise, as specified in Clause 5 (Advertising and NTMEC Marks).

2.6 Within a Venue, NTMEC relies on Accreditation and on the Ticket Conditions granting NTMEC the right to refuse entry to, or to eject, any Spectator who engages in Ambush Marketing.

2.7 On Event day, venue security (with police support as appropriate) will:

(a) monitor all incoming Patrons at the gates;
(b) conduct searches of Patrons and their possessions to ensure that Ambush Marketing items or materials are not brought into or displayed in a Venue;
(c) confiscate certain items or material if they have been authorised to do so; and
(d) escalate any suspected Ambush Marketing attempt to the designated NTMEC representative.

2.8 NTMEC will conduct regular Venue inspections to identify any possible ambush sites and to monitor compliance with this Policy. This will be reinforced at operations meetings both before and after each Event.

2.9 Outside a Venue, NTMEC relies on the staff of NTMEC as well as Event Partners to identify any infringement or Ambush Marketing, including the distribution of unauthorised Advertising Material. If a staff member becomes aware of any Ambush Marketing, he or she must immediately notify the designated NTMEC representative who will take appropriate and preliminary action.

3. EVENT PARTNERS
3.1 NTMEC has appointed Event Partners who have been granted certain specified rights in relation to Events. In return for their investment, Event Partners have been granted exclusivity in relation to their respective Product Categories and are authorised to associate themselves with Events and to use NTMEC Marks. NTMEC will protect Event Partners’ rights in accordance with this Policy.

3.2 NTMEC conducts awareness and marketing campaigns to ensure the general public, business community, Participants and Patrons are aware of the identity of official Event Partners.

3.3 NTMEC may develop a Spotters Guide (essentially containing details of Event Partner logos) for distribution to broadcasters and media in an effort to minimise in-Venue Ambush Marketing. The aim is to ensure that television cameras are not focussed on any Competitor branding.

3.4 Each Event Partner is required to enter into an Event Sponsorship Agreement under which it agrees to:

(a) exercise its rights strictly in accordance with that Event Sponsorship Agreement, including only in relation to Products within its own specified Product Category;
(b) comply with NTMEC’s Branding Guidelines;
(c) give NTMEC prompt notice of any unauthorised use by third parties of NTMEC Marks;
(d) that any Third Party Promotion must be, and be seen to be, a promotion for the Event Partner; and
(e) co-operate, give documentation and access to people to assist NTMEC in any action against parties infringing NTMEC’s Marks.

3.5 Each Event Partner has contractually agreed not to engage in any Ambush Marketing of any Event or any Participant or Event Partner. Contractual remedies are available to NTMEC if a Event Partner breaches this obligation.

3.6 If NTMEC or a Event Partner becomes aware of any unauthorised use of NTMEC Marks in connection with Products falling within the Product Category, that party must immediately notify the other specifying the facts in reasonable detail. NTMEC and that Event Partner will then work collaboratively to assist in the resolution of the infringement as quickly as possible.

3.7 NTMEC may provide financial or other support to events other than the partnered Event. It is acknowledged that these events may appoint their own official sponsors. It is possible that those official sponsors may be a Competitor of a Event Partner and, if so, this does not amount to Ambush Marketing. That event owner, and not NTMEC, is responsible for the actions of those official sponsors.

4. PARTICIPANTS AND PATRONS
4.1 Marketing activities by non Event Partners that seek to take advantage of the public interest in, and profile of, Events through a physical presence in Venues are prohibited. NTMEC seeks to control these unauthorised activities by controlling access to Venues and through key contractual arrangements.

4.2 NTMEC regularly monitors compliance with this Policy, including through pre-Event venue inspections, and the post-Event analysis and review. A summary of this Policy will be provided in relevant Event briefings and documentation.

4.3 NTMEC has no rights in relation to any Participant in an Event. A Participant may display branding, which may or may not be a Competitor of a Event Partner. If so, this does not amount to Ambush Marketing.

4.4 NTMEC is vigilant to ensure Patrons are not used to conduct prohibited marketing activities or to devalue the rights of Event Partners. As NTMEC is able to control access to Venues, it is able to dictate the terms of that access to the general public (Ticket Conditions) and to rights and non-rights holding media (Accreditation).

4.5 Ticket Conditions ensure protection of the rights of Event Partners by controlling promotions involving Tickets to Events and by controlling the actions of Patrons in a Venue. A Ticket holder must not:

(a) use the Ticket as a prize or in any other manner in a lottery or competition;
(b) use the Ticket for any promotional, advertising, commercial, trade or charitable purpose; or
(c) sell, transfer or in any way dispose of the Ticket for the purpose of commercial gain (which includes use of the Ticket either alone or as part of a package of other services or products, any flight or other mode of travel, accommodation, hospitality, food or beverage), without NTMEC’s (or the Hirer’s) written consent.

4.6 A Patron is prohibited from wearing or displaying commercial, political or other offensive signage or logos (except for official Merchandise or other Event related clothing worn in good faith). This prohibition will be used to ensure large groups of Patrons do not engage in Ambush Marketing of any Event Partner inside a Venue.

4.7 Ambush Marketing is not constituted by:

(a) a Patron acting alone;
(b) conflicting Event Partners on replica Participant Merchandise; or
(c) clothing worn by children involved in charitable event activations (provided NTMEC approval was obtained).

4.8 Any person found to be in breach of the Ticket Conditions or Accreditation may lose the right to either enter into, or to remain in, a Venue.

5. ADVERTISING AND NTMEC MARKS
5.1 Only Event Partners are able to use NTMEC Marks.

5.2 NTMEC must approve each use of the NTMEC Mark, including in Advertising Material and on Products, Premiums and Merchandise. This approval process also enables NTMEC to monitor each Event Partner’s promotional activities and to ensure there are no conflicting promotional plans.

5.3 Event Partners are authorised to use the NTMEC Marks on the following conditions:

(a) obtain NTMEC’s prior written consent to each use of a NTMEC Mark using the standard approval process as advised from time to time;
(b) use NTMEC Marks solely to promote or market their official association;
(c) use and reproduce NTMEC Marks only in accordance with Branding Guidelines; and
(d) not have any third party name, logo or any other mark affixed to or as a part of Products, Merchandise or Advertising Materials that display the NTMEC Marks, without the prior written consent of NTMEC.

5.4 Event Partners may want to conduct Third Party Promotions, including Ticket competitions. Third Party Promotions need to be managed by NTMEC to protect all Event Partners and to prevent actual or perceived Ambush Marketing. The name of the third party and the details of the proposed Third Party Promotion must be submitted to NTMEC for prior written approval before any such Third Party Promotion is launched.

5.5 The overriding principle for Third Party Promotions is that any advertising, promotion or sales (including a competition, give-away or at point of sale) by a Event Partner with a third party must be, and be seen to be, a promotion for that Event Partner and its Products executed through its customary marketing channels.

5.6 No promotion may be conducted with a Competitor of any Event Partner or feature the name or marks of a Competitor.

5.7 The marks of a third party that is not a Competitor of a Event Partner, may appear on Advertising Materials with NTMEC’s prior written consent, provided the following additional requirements are met:

(a) the promotion must be (and be seen to be) a promotion for the Event Partner with respect to its Products and cannot extend to any other products or services (whether manufactured and/or provided by Event Partner or otherwise);
(b) the third party must not be positioned as being officially involved with NTMEC or an Event and the promotion cannot create confusion, in NTMEC’s reasonable opinion, as to the products or services for which Event Partnership rights have been granted to the Event Partner;
(c) if the promotion offers Tickets, it must clearly identify the Event Partner as the entity offering such Tickets and not the third party; and
(d) the Event Partner must ensure that it is clear that the Event Partner and not the third party is involved with NTMEC or Events and, to this extent, NTMEC may require that the Event Partner use only composite logos in the promotion.

5.8 If a Event Partner’s use of NTMEC Marks does not comply with the terms of this Policy or the Branding Guidelines, or is in any way prejudicial to NTMEC’s rights or interests, NTMEC may give written notice requesting that the Event Partner correct the use of the NTMEC Marks. This must be completed within a nominated timeframe and the Event Partner must, at its own expense, correct the use of the NTMEC Marks to NTMEC’s reasonable satisfaction.

6. MERCHANDISE
6.1 NTMEC has the exclusive rights (including the right to sub-licence) to sell, supply or distribute Merchandise during Events.

6.2 NTMEC controls the sale and distribution of Merchandise at Events through contracts and requiring Event Partners to submit to an approval process. Premiums are also subject to this approval process and they cannot contain any names or logos other than of Event Partner.

6.3 Counterfeit Merchandise undermines official NTMEC licensing programmes, which provides product range, quality assurances in terms of product quality and ethical business practices, and protection for the authorised licensees. NTMEC may work with Australian authorities, including police and customs, to reduce the production, importation or sale of counterfeit Merchandise.

6.4 NTMEC may conduct searches of Venues to ensure there is neither unauthorised sale of Merchandise nor the sale of counterfeit merchandise. If counterfeit merchandise is discovered, these items may be seized or confiscated by NTMEC personnel.

7. LEGAL ACTION
7.1 NTMEC’s primary approach to rights protection focuses on guidance and direct personal contact to end an infringement. However, NTMEC reserves the right in serious cases to initiate legal proceedings to protect NTMEC and Event Partners from Ambush Marketing attempts. NTMEC will not resort to formal legal action without detailed analysis of the scale, intention and commercial impact of the infringement.

7.2 NTMEC’s intellectual property primarily consists of trade marks and designs (both registered and unregistered) and copyright. NTMEC may take action against any unauthorised reproduction of the NTMEC Marks in a commercial context.

7.3 Event Partners:

(a) acknowledge that NTMEC retains the sole right, but not the obligation, to take action in respect of any unauthorised use, infringement or imitation of, or challenge to, NTMEC Marks;
(b) will, at NTMEC’s request and reasonable cost, provide all necessary co-operation, documentation and access to people to assist NTMEC in its action;
(c) must not bring or cause to be brought any criminal prosecution, civil lawsuit or administrative action in respect of NTMEC Marks without NTMEC’s prior written consent; and
(d) must co-operate with and, if NTMEC considers it appropriate, be named by NTMEC as a co-plaintiff in any action against an infringer of NTMEC Marks. Any settlement, penalties, damages or other benefit or recovery arising from or in connection with such action will be the sole property of NTMEC.

7.4 A Event Partner may take whatever action it considers necessary to protect its Event Partner trade marks, provided it first notifies NTMEC if it relates to an Event or the rights granted to it in connection with a Venue.

8. DEFINITIONS
In this Policy:

Accreditation means NTMEC’s terms and conditions for individual and non-transferable access to a Venue for an Event for a specified period in accordance with the function to be performed by the holder at the Event, including by media or Event operations staff.

Advertising Materials mean any advertisement, promotion, marketing, or other material used in any media or across any platform, including flyers.

Branding Guidelines mean NTMEC’s graphic standards and guidelines in relation to the use and reproduction of NTMEC Marks as amended from time to time.

Competitor means an entity that, in NTMEC’s opinion, has a principal or material part of its business that involves the promotion, marketing, sale and supply of products or services in the Product Category of a Event Partner.

Event means any event, performance, show, activity, conference or function from time to time, whether of sporting, cultural, musical, community, or experiential nature, that is owned by NTMEC.

Event Partner means any NTMEC appointed:

(a) official broadcaster of an Event, including television, mobile, internet and radio;
(b) Event Partner, supplier, licensee that has signed an Event Event Partnership Agreement with NTMEC; or
(c) any other party that NTMEC has granted promotional, signage, concession, sampling or other commercial rights in relation to an Event.

Event Sponsorship Agreement means the NTMEC’s standard sponsorship agreement that must be signed by NTMEC and each Event Partner.

Merchandise means all merchandise and licensing of all kinds, including items of clothing, headwear, scarves, flags, drink containers, games, collectibles or memorabilia.

NTMEC Marks mean the, registered and unregistered, names, logos, marks and corporate identification of NTMEC or Events.

Participants means any person who competes or participates in an Event, including competitors, performers, officials, and other technical, management or support staff.

Patron means a person who enters any part of a Venue for the purpose of viewing an Event, including Ticket holders, corporate hospitality attendees, VIPs and the general public.

Premiums mean promotional items of Merchandise used to promote a Event Partner or an Event that is given to Spectators free of charge.

Product means any good, product or service within the Product Category that a Event Partner promotes, advertises or sells in conjunction with NTMEC Marks or otherwise displays or sells at an Event.

Product Category means the defined business, products or services of a Event Partner, as specified in the Event Sponsorship Agreement of that Event Partner.
Third Party Promotion means any advertising, promotion or sales (including a competition, give-away or at point of sale) by a Event Partner with a third party.

Ticket means any form of evidence of the right to occupy space, or obtain entry to an Event held at a Venue that has been issued by NTMEC (or its authorised nominee), represented by any means or technology whether existing now or in the future including a physical ticket, print-at-home ticket or barcode on smartphones.

Ticket Conditions mean NTMEC’s terms and conditions for the sale of Tickets and of entry to a Venue as notified on NTMEC’s website from time to time.

Venue means any venue, stadium, arena or designated area that is controlled by NTMEC, hosts an Event or is otherwise designated by NTMEC from time to time.

Download Printable Version Here – NTMEC Ticketing Ambush Marketing Policy