The last couple of years there is a lot to do about the growing importance of image rights in football and the growing value they have for football players.
Image rights refer to the right to use someone’s name, reputation, performances, promotional services or image (or any right or quasi-right associated therewith) for any commercial purpose.
Football players are becoming more and more popular on a global scale. Fans want to be associated with the players’ success and image. Footballers’ faces or images sell products (shirts, pictures, …) across the world and make huge amounts of money for their club and their brand sponsors.
Real Madrid estimated that David Beckham’s total contract value was recouped in the first six months of his stay in Madrid. And this on his shirt sales alone. During his contract in Madrid, merchandising profits increased by a staggering 137%.
Clubs are therefore not only interested in registering the player so that he can play for their club but also in the exploitation of the player’s image. The party controlling or owning the image rights gets paid for this exploitation.
Therefore it has become crucial for a top player to have control over his own image rights. By doing so, you will be guaranteed that, on top of your income as a player, you will also generate a substantial commercial income.
In our book The Bankrupt Footballer – 50 guidelines to take control over the business side of your football career, we explain in further detail how image rights work and what the points of attention are in this respect from a tax point of view.
We also have written an article that deals with other aspects of the footballers’ image rights – cfr image rights in football