6
Dec/04

Ambush Marketing of Days Gone By: Official Sponsor v. Official Partner at the '94 World Cup


And while we’re talking about official sponsorships (see below), I am reminded of a lawsuit brought by MasterCard against Sprint during the 1994 World Cup.  MasterCard was the official card-based payment sponsor while Sprint was the official long distance partner (and it cost more to be a sponsor than a partner).  Sprint distributed calling cards with the World Cup logo – MasterCard sued and prevailed (calling cards being a sub-set of card-based payment systems), and Sprint was enjoined from further use of the logo on cards.

MasterCard International Incorporated v. Sprint Communications Co. v. ISL Football A. G., 30 U.S.P.Q. 2d 1963 (S.D.N.Y. 1994); aff’d per curiam 23 F3d 397 (2d Cir. 1994),

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