ICC attorneys issue caution notice to protect official sponsors

MUMBAI: With the World Cup less than a month away, the International Cricket Council is pulling all stops to make sure its official sponsors are not harmed in any manner through ambush marketing.

A caution notice issued by ICC attorneys-at-law Sen-Oberoi says that the ICC controls commercial rights for its events including the 2003 World Cup, scheduled to take place in South Africa. The names of the official sponsors have also been mentioned which include Pepsi, Hero Honda, LG, MTN and SET MAX.

Sen-Oberoi have stated that their clients ICC and ICC Cricket World Cup's official partners/sponsors are the only ones allowed to associate themselves with the event. Only the official sponsors are authorised to conduct contests, travel packages and schemes relating to the World Cup. The use of tickets as prizes in contests or schemes by any other party is prohibited as it amounts to an act of ambush marketing, the notice in leading dailies yesterday states.

The statutory ad follows on the heels of an announcement made in December 2002, warning fans not to buy tickets through unauthorised channels for the ICC Cricket World Cup. Clifford Green of Edward Nathan and Friedland, the lawyer acting for CWC had identified various piracy operations involving the selling of tickets at inflated prices. Green had said that some unauthorised operators were also advertising hospitality packages. Such moves fell foul of the official process.

Green had warned people doing business with dubious operators that their tickets could be cancelled out of the system ahead of the cricket World Cup.

The authorised agents are the normal selling channels at the grounds, on the official website and via the call centre on 083 123 2003. Green had pointed out that the 'marks' of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 the logo and mascot in particular may not be copied onto merchandise.

Watch this space for further developments on the World Cup.

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