Welsh Premier league champions, The New Saints FC (TNS FC), have become the world’s first professional football club to register their Image Rights on the unique Guernsey register. This unique initiative is being driven by the Mike Harris, TNS FC’s visionary Chairman, and will enable the club to protect its “corporate brand” and the huge investment made in developing players at every level. In addition, through the subsequent registration of its playing staff, the club can protect the privacy of its players, including more than 200 youngsters in the Academy aged from 7-18 years as well as the first team squad, against unauthorised commercial exploitation.
According to Mike Harris: “We take the privacy of our players very seriously and are pleased that The New Saints have become the first professional football club to complete an Image Rights registration. Whilst we are surprised to be first football club to do this, we know that other teams will follow this innovative initiative to protect their commercial interests and prevent the reputational damage caused by such abuses.”
The registration was completed by “Romanillos & Cook” (R & C), Guernsey’s leading independent intellectual property agency that specialises in Image Rights for individual and corporate clients. Using innovative legislation under Guernsey State laws, the only jurisdiction that offers world-wide Image Rights protection, it enables football clubs to reinforce the investments they have made and ensure that images are used in an appropriate way to enhance player value. R & C also offers a monitoring service to enforce Image Rights using sophisticated internet and media search tools which scan all web and social media as well as traditional channels to identify unauthorised usage of images.
“Registering our Image Rights enhances the commercial value of our brand and gives additional protection for the years of hard work that we have undertaken, ensuring that the club is not tarnished by unauthorised third party usage,” continued Harris. “It also provides additional revenue streams and protects emerging stars at the academy, ensuring that the club benefits financially if they move to other teams.
Based in Oswestry, Shropshire, TNS FC also regularly compete in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. Under the leadership of Chairman Mike Harris, this forward-thinking, pro-active football club has made significant investments into building a solid foundation for the team including a 3G pitch, restaurant and leisure complex and the acquisition of additional land for the further development of the Academy and Ladies teams.