Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is reported to have escalated communications in an ongoing legal dispute with the Egyptian football association. This series of events highlights the potential conflicts between players’ individual product endorsement deals and the sponsorship arrangements of their teams and sporting bodies. Earlier this year, Salah expressed frustrations at the use of his image on marketing materials featuring the logo of the official sponsor of the Egyptian football team, telecommunications group WE.
Despite Salah’s own personal sponsorship deal with Vodafone, images of Salah were published on the Egyptian football team’s private plane and numerous banners alongside the WE logo. Salah took to social media to express his disappointment at the use of his image rights, and entered into discussions with the Egyptian football to have the images withdrawn.
Reports at the time suggested that the parties had reached an amicable resolution, but the player has now expressed concerns that the Egyptian football association has not provided requested assurances that his image rights will not be violated again in future.
With suggestions that Salah may end his international playing career if a resolution cannot be achieved, the fallout from the Egyptian football club’s WE sponsorship deal highlights the challenge of balancing the competing interests of individual endorsement arrangements and team sponsorship arrangements.
I consider some of the risks that may arise with individual endorsements, associated mitigation strategies and best practice tips in my recent article.