Digital football is a boom for platforms and players: potential and perspectives

“Digital football” linked to technologies such as tokens, NFTs and digital items is becoming increasingly popular. We are in the area of ​​“digital assets” that allow many websites and apps to involve users in games (Fantasy Football Games) through the purchase of this type of content. Of particular interest is the topic of athletes’ image rights and their exploitation in digital football. As we know, in addition to the contract that binds the player to his club, there is a second agreement that regulates the exploitation of the player’s image. In short, a football player can choose to give up part or all of the rights to his image to the club in exchange for additional compensation. Full transfer to the club is the norm, for example, in the Premier League, while in Italy only Napoli systematically apply this approach.

Then there is the question of who can offer and sell tokens, NFTs and various digital assets. Il Sole 24 Ore explains that there are several platforms such as Starcks, Sorare, Myse, Hypermatch “that sell digital items from football players, but only a few of them declare that they correctly acquired the rights”. Starcks, for example, explains this directly on its website. However, even in the Italian market there are platforms that do not declare that they legitimately use the image of clubs and players for their digital games. In short, be careful about what you buy online, even if it is “only” digital.

Carlo Nardello, professor of Digital Marketing at La Sapienza University in Rome, explains that “In Italy there are currently other platforms offering digital games related to football that make no mention of the legitimacy of using players’ names and images. In fact, there are also those who expressly declare, on their website, that they use free images acquired on public websites. If this were the case and there was no authorization, all digital stickers sold to users would not have any legitimate concession from the owners who could protect themselves by forcing the platform to remove them immediately.“. The central point of the problem, explains the expert again, “It is not about the image itself, but the exploitation of a right linked to that image, of an economic nature and belonging to its holder, that is, the player or the club. Right that belongs to the athlete and jointly, or alternatively, to the company. The advice is always the same. Pay attention to what you buy online and the price which, even in these innovative areas, is always lurking“, concludes Nardello, who alerts users about which platforms they trust.

Source: IL Tempo