Practical tips for registering trade marks for sports people

Protecting reputation, brand and commercial value

It is extremely beneficial for a sports person to trade mark their name with a view to protecting their reputation, brand and commercial value. 

In this article, we provide four top tips to help ensure that sports people give themselves the best possible chance of being able to secure trade mark registration of their name, and to protect their brand.

Our quick and practical tips for registration

  1. Engage with your commercial and legal advisors at an early stage in your career to ensure a controlled use and management of your name and brand.
  2. Give careful thought to the goods or services in relation to which your trade mark registration is sought and to the nature of the mark you apply for. Attempts to register a sports person's name or image in relation to certain classes of goods, such as posters, will raise particular difficulties.
  3. Ensure that you and your representatives carefully monitor all unauthorised use of your name and images.
  4. Adopt a robust enforcement strategy to prevent unauthorised third party use of your name. Unauthorised, uncontrolled use  will ultimately dilute the distinctiveness of your name and the potential value of your personal brand. 

The sports sector is a unique marketplace. In this highly pressurised and fast paced environment, the right decisions can positively influence a career, enhance an appearance in the public eye, or protect commercial or private interests. If you have any questions about trade marks or any other issue relating to sports law, please do get in touch.

Read more about protecting and enforcing sports persons' trade marks and brand/image rights »

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.

Sports law

Our Sports Group combines commercial, straightforward advice with experienced people who have a passion for sport. Our clients trust us to understand this unique market-place and to operate alongside them in the evolving and fast paced sports environment. We make it our business to know yours and to become an integral part of your team.

Andrew McGregor

Senior Solicitor

I am a Senior Solicitor and member of the DWF Sports Group. My areas of expertise include contractual and commercial disputes along with intellectual property issues.


Paul Pignatelli

Partner - Executive Partner Glasgow

I am the Executive Partner for Glasgow and a partner specialising primarily in corporate finance but with a strong track record also on sporting matters.