A cursory glance across some of the day’s sports headlines has thrown up a few interesting points in relation to what rights-holders and sponsors can and cannot control:

  • The FIFA Women’s World Cup Final has been scheduled on the same day as both the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final and the CONMEBOL Copa America Final, Sunday 7th July. All organisations have pleaded innocence and blamed administrative mishaps for the scheduling clashes but the women’s game should rightly be asking questions of these governing bodies.

  • A couple of washouts at Roland Garros this week have led to the Women’s semi-finals being played on a half-full Court 3 whilst the Men’s semi-finals take centre stage on the Philippe Chatrier show court.

  • Days after announcing a blockbuster sponsorship deal with BT, The Football Association are fighting yet more bad press in the wake of England fans behaviour in Porto. It is certainly not the best look ahead of Wembley hosting seven games at next summer’s UEFA European Championships.

  • Torrential rain in Bristol has washed out the Pakistan v Sri Lanka match in the cricket world cup whilst similar downpours in London are leaving music festival attendees seeking shelter.

The inclusion of “force majeure” clauses in sponsor contracts will often work as a rights-holders’ get-out clause should matters that they cannot control, negatively impact a partnership; but should more be done to pre-empt such matters arising? The flip-side is of course that sponsors should be entering any partnership, having analysed all the potential pitfalls that bad weather, supporter misbehaviour, governing body incompetence and media coverage clashes might bring to the table.

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