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Laws impacting the Olympic Games are experiencing some of the most dramatic challenges as Olympic host cities, organizing committees, and national governing bodies struggle to find the proper balance between protecting official sponsors’ rights and embracing creativity spurred by fan engagement with technology. Professors John Grady and Thomas Baker will speak about the complex legal issues resulting from Olympic-driven, ambush marketing legislation that includes the controversial Rule 40. Within the discussion, Dr. Grady will present findings from a study conducted while in Rio during the 2016 Olympic Games; findings with important implications for efforts to relax Rule 40’s restrictions on athlete autonomy and speech. The rights of athletes to appear in sponsorship during the Games, especially on social media, when balanced against the contractual rights of official sponsors to extract value from the Olympics raise ongoing legal concerns and invite new scrutiny as the PyeongChang Games approach and as ambush marketing legislation is contemplated for Los Angeles.
John Grady, J.D., Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Grady’s research focuses primarily on the legal aspects of the business of sport and includes concentrations in legal issues impacting marketing and sponsorship of the Olympics as well as disability issues in sport. Dr. Grady is past-president of the Sport and Recreation Law Association and a Research Fellow from the same organization.
Thomas A. Baker III, J.D., Ph.D. is an associate professor of sport law at the International Center for Sport Management (ICSM) at the University of Georgia and the Editor of the Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport. Dr. Baker’s research primarily focuses on the influence of commercial law and regulation on sport and brand management, such as the application of antitrust law to NCAA rules governing student-athletes and the regulation of sports marketing through advertisements and social media. He is a Research Fellow from the Sport and Recreation Law Association.


November 3, 2017
12:05 pm - 12:55 pm
Event Category:
Student Org Sponsor
Committee on Sports & Entertainment Law


WCC 1023 Classroom


Publicity Contact Name
Jimmy McEntee
Publicity Contact Email
Student Orgs Events