A local sporting goods store would like to recognize Ocean State University (OSU) women’s soccer student-athlete, Hat Trick, for winning an award at the FIFA World Cup yesterday. The store will buy advertising space on a billboard near campus that reads “Congratulations Hat Trick! We are all very proud of you!”.
Is this permissible?
Yes with conditions. NCAA Bylaw 22.214.171.124 states that it is permissible for a student-athlete’s name or picture, or the group picture of an institution’s athletics squad, to appear in an advertisement of a particular business, commercial product or service, provided: (Revised: 5/21/08)
| (a) The primary purpose of the advertisement is to publicize the sponsor’s congratulations to the student-athlete or team;
(b) The advertisement does not include a reproduction of the product with which the business is associated or any other item or description identifying the business or service other than its name or trademark;
(c) There is no indication in the makeup or wording of the advertisement that the squad members, individually or collectively, or the institution endorses the product or service of the advertiser;
(d) The student-athlete has not signed a consent or release granting permission to use the student-athlete’s name or picture in a manner inconsistent with the requirements of this section; and
(e) If the student-athlete has received a prize from a commercial sponsor in conjunction with participation in a promotional contest and the advertisement involves the announcement of receipt of the prize, the receipt of the prize is consistent with the provisions of Bylaw 126.96.36.199.3 and official interpretations. (Revised: 11/1/07 effective 8/1/08)