IP Key SEA teamed up with Spanish football league, LaLiga, to highlight the importance of IP in sports, particularly for football, at World Intellectual Property Day in Bangkok, Thailand on 26 April. The IP Key SEA / LaLiga ‘Support Your Team – Choose Official Products’ exhibition booth at the event featured a display of all 20 LaLiga team jerseys and their IP components, competitions and giveaways, as well as experts on hand demonstrating how genuine sports broadcasts and merchandise help develop and maintain quality sports leagues.
The TV rights in professional sports are typically licensed for international media distribution to make live, high-definition broadcasts available to fans worldwide. By watching official sports broadcasts and online streaming, sports fans see the match in the best-possible quality, and support their team by adding to the viewership data that is used to attract sponsorship and licensing fees.
Speaking from the booth, LaLiga Delegate for Thailand Jose Gotor noted that revenue from TV licensing and official merchandise are critical to pay for recruitment programs, training facilities, support staff and other services that keep sports teams competitive. “When LaLiga fans watch pirated matches online, they are essentially endangering the Spanish football teams that they love,” Mr. Gotor commented. “There are plenty of legitimate ways to catch a live LaLiga match in Southeast Asia, especially on the BeIN Sports app or through their local cable TV provider.”
Among dignitaries attending the opening ceremony for the event was the Head of the Trade Section of the EU Delegation to Thailand, Minister Counsellor Philipp Dupuis. “The protection and enforcement of IP rights are key objectives for the EU. The sports sector is significantly contributing to our economies and relies on the protection of intellectual property assets to survive. Unlicensed broadcasts and the sale of counterfeit merchandise put this sector in danger. By avoiding counterfeit goods, fans can make sure that the show goes on,” he said.
Other highlights at World IP Day 2019 in Bangkok included a visit by Muangthong United FC football staff, sports science and technology exhibits, and a discussion forum on IP and sports excellence. The event was hosted by the Department of Intellectual Property.