Event Sponsorships, COVID-19 and Force Majeure – Where do we stand?


COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on commercial operations across all sectors globally. This is no better demonstrated than in the events industry, with international sporting events worth vast sums of money to organisers being cancelled or delayed… but what are the parties’ rights under the event sponsorship contract?

In this short video, Rich Hawkins, Partner in Bird & Bird’s global Media, Entertainment & Sports group, discusses the unique challenges that event sponsorship contracts bring and explains why the standard force majeure clause from a company’s template supply of services agreement may not be fit for purpose in this arena.

Rich has been advising sports and media clients on a wide range of matters for over 14 years. Rich is a partner in our International Media, Entertainment and Sport Group, based in Sydney. He has a unique combination of private practice and in-house experience having spent 7 years as the General Counsel of Rugby Australia. Rich advises on a broad range of commercial, regulatory and contentious matters in the sports and media sector. He has particular expertise in sports media and marketing rights, sales and acquisitions of sports clubs, joint ventures, collective bargaining and other stakeholder arrangements, sports governance, and the implementation and enforcement of sports integrity policies and programmes.

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