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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5199/can-you-drink-coke-at-a-match-sponsored-by-pepsi/

Can You Drink Coke at a Match Sponsored by Pepsi?

June 19, 2006 by

Should you be able to wear orange lederhosen at a World Cup match? Or be forced to enjoy the event in your undergarments?

Or specifically, should you be able to wear orange “leeuwenhose” with a Bavaria logo, Holland’s second biggest brewery, even though they are not an official World Cup sponsor? Does not being a sponsor of the event enable Fifa to strip ticket holders of their pants and put them in the trash in order to protect the interests of their sponsors?

Should you not be able to wear Nike’s at an Adidas sponsored event and thus have to risk going barefoot if caught?

I understand Fifa is entitled to defend itself against “ambush marketing,” but that doesn’t seem to be the intent of the “leeuwenhose,” nor do they seem to have an explicit rule against it. I think the fans would’ve liked to have known if their knickerbockers were about to be confiscated.

Will you have to sign an affidavit that you will exclusively search with Yahoo, eat McDonalds, and drink Budweiser 24 hours before and after attending a World Cup match in order to satisfy Fifa sponsors?


Pete Canning June 19, 2006 at 9:27 pm

Who owns the venue? They should decide.

Reformed Republican June 19, 2006 at 9:35 pm

I agree with Pete. The owner of the venue has the right to set whatever dress code is deemed fit. If the owner has contract with a sponsor that does not allow the logos of a competitor, then the owner is bound by that contract.

However, any such dress requirements should be made clear to the ticket purchaser when they purchase their ticket.

Commodus June 19, 2006 at 9:41 pm

Yes, that seems right, but in this instance, the rule seems arbitrary and unclear while the punishment quite severe.

abe June 19, 2006 at 9:56 pm

The owner of the venue has the ability to decide until it starts to effect the bottom line. I would think that once they start taking away people’s pants it will have an adverse effect on profits and thus consumers will demand that they be able to wear whatever they damn well please to the match in question.

Tino June 19, 2006 at 10:03 pm

Does FIFA have the right to do this? Of course. That doesn’t mean that it’s not fantastically stupid, though.

Urbanitect June 19, 2006 at 10:34 pm

No shirt, no shoes, no service.

Vanmind June 19, 2006 at 11:43 pm

I lean toward “caveat emptor,” although I think FIFA is shooting itself in the foot. The venue owner’s hands are most likely well-tied (if they ever want to get another sizable event).

Felix Benner June 20, 2006 at 3:39 am

Not so fast. With the purchase of the ticket the fans made a binding contract with FIFA. They fulfilled their part in paying for the ticket. As far as I know there was no dresscode as part of this contract so with FIFAs refuse to admit those fans to the game unless they comply with some additional rule FIFA was clearly breaking that contract.

While I think breaking a contract anytime should be allowed (I’m against contractual slavery) FIFA would still have to pay the fans’ expenses that occured because of their expectance of the contract being fulfilled including the flight to germany.

I definitely hope that FIFA won’t get away with this. But then again I never watched a match anyways.

Artisan June 20, 2006 at 5:17 am

Nobody says the State should legislate or intervene… but it raises some management questions still until FIFA forces every supporter to simply wear shirt and pants of the sponsor right on at the gate.

So game tickets now also “imply” the producer and sponsor’s rights to transmit images of the cheering crowd to millions of TV viewers… You would imagine it’s fairly easy to tell them camera teams not to focus on the fan clothes if they don’t fit their needs… Ah, but they need to show the athmosphere on TV too! That’s conflicting: In the old times, published pictures needed some kind of agreement of the subject to that matter, if you could identify him/her clearly, except for public personalities. People believed someone’s private image somehow belonged to his identity. Of course the fans going to a public event can reasonably expect to appear on the screen for 1/10th of a second …but obviously some of their private sphere has to be given up at the gate. Some will say it is worth it even if one has to dance in front of cameras naked so to see his/her team eventually loose, but I always viewed soccer fans as more proud…

As a libertarian I’d be interested to see how long it takes to “the market” to correct this stupid business practice and in what way thus.

Artisan June 20, 2006 at 5:32 am

Speaking about long contractual binding… I’m puzzled about the libertarian point of view on that matter because just now the anti-trust commission in Germany has prevented the big energy supplier to bind their clients for more than a few years as opposed to the old common 10 years practice, which prevented clients to benefit from the new competition on prices…
It really looks like that state limitation of contractual agreement gives the market more mobility though … isn’t it really desirable thus? How can the State intervention be avoided here?

Jim June 20, 2006 at 6:02 am

Property rights trump so-called personal liberties or freedoms. When personal liberties become a positive right, watch out. Purchasing a ticket does not mean that the property owner has agreed to drop his absolute right to property less what is explicitly written on the back of a ticket in the form of a binding contract.

This country is in such a mess due in part to implied rights being granted to trespassers. The contract involved in a ticket purchase is simply the delivery of service — entertainment — for a given amount of money at a specific venue on a certain date/time. At best, a ticket holder who is asked to leave an event due to some behavior — drinking the wrong kind of soft drink — can demand his money back.

Felix Benner June 20, 2006 at 6:10 am

@Jim: good point

If you place a weight on a pair of balances it gets off balance. You can now remove the weight to get it on balance again or you could put another weight on the other pan.
The government does the latter by regulating contracts, when instead it should have done the former by simply stopping to enforce such contracts.

Keith June 20, 2006 at 6:14 am

What if the sponsor sold contact lenses? Could they forbid anybody wearing glasses? What if they sold condoms? Could they forbid lesbians?

They sold this person a ticket and I doubt there were any stipulations on what apparel could or couldn’t be worn. I think its a breach of contract and they should pay through the nose.

Jim June 20, 2006 at 6:29 am

@Keith – There is a big difference between the selling of a good, such as a TV or contact lenses, and the selling of a limited-right ticket to an event. The ticket purchaser knows full well that the purchase of the ticket does not convey any rights to the property or venue where the event will be held.

quasibill June 20, 2006 at 7:27 am

Once again, this seems like an area where you don’t need to re-invent the wheel. There is a substantial body of common law contract rules that reflect how rules arise in a free market.

In this case, an arbitrator would decide whether the condition in question was part of the agreed upon intention of the parties. In doing this, the arbitrator references trade practices, course of dealing, and general social norms.’

So, for example, the arbitrator would likely find that the ticket contract, even if it doesn’t explicitly say so, has an implicit condition of “no hooliganism”, as this would be understood by the vast majority to be against social norms. Further, the arbitrator could find that since all stadiums don’t allow alcohol into the stands, this is an industry norm, and therefore an implicit term. On the other end, it would be the rare arbitrator who would find that the contract requires the ticketholder to wear a sportsbra with “Coke” on it if she is well-endowed, of course in the absence of explicit contract language to that effect.

While we certainly shouldn’t be slaves to tradition or the past, we shouldn’t just toss the baby out with the bath water, either.

Simplicissimus June 20, 2006 at 9:50 am

Max Barry wrote a novel that touched on these themes — Jennifer Government.

It is extremely anti-libertarian. The premise is that taxes and government as we know it have been eliminated … sounds great, right? No. This situation is portrayed by the author as though it is some kind of problem. He loads the book with all sorts of supposedly horrible consequences, like corporate conglomerates that demand that customers destroy the products of the competitor that they may already own, in an act of extreme brand loyalty. Kind of like the soccer stadium situation.

The title of the book refers to the idea that in this supposedly hellish market-based world, everyone adopts the last name of his or her employer. John Nike, Samantha Hertz, etc. McDonalds runs schools. Roads are private — one hapless character takes the wrong turn and racks up hundreds of dollars in tolls he can’t afford. The heroine was once an ad executive, but gave it up to work for the government, of all things, as though that makes her noble or something.

France is referred to as the last bastion of socialism, and thus prasied as a kind of far away holy land. George “Pinko” Clooney has naturally already bought the rights, so I gather.

I can’t really recommend the book, since it represents everything that is wrong with the world, but it illustrates how once you accept the idea that the State is somehow a force for good, you progress rather quickly to the point where property and freedom start to look like the problem rather than the solution.

Artisan June 20, 2006 at 4:33 pm

@Felix Benner.
Can you elaborate, please?

banker June 20, 2006 at 4:57 pm

When Fifa charges several hundred million euros for companies to advertise during the World Cup, it makes sense to stomp out rival company tv coverage. I don’t see what the major controversy here, only that Fifa didn’t let the fans know earlier about the policy. And they don’t care about an individual coming in with rival company clothing, but when groups come into the stadium wearing the same clothes appears like ambush marketing on tv. Why should Fifa comprimise the contracts they signed with Budweiser or Addidas?

This article is probably the IP argument taken too far.

Bernd Haug June 23, 2006 at 7:09 am

This discussion is pretty moot as they will have some clause in the ticket contract that they can bar anyone, for any reason.

In absence of that, I think it’s pretty bizarre to argue that they can just bar anybody with whom they have a contract to let them in because they dislike their clothes (which seems a bit unreasonable, unless that was very explicitly made clear).

That this should be the default way of operation seems to indicate that some libertarians seem to think that once it’s clear who owns what, the discussion is over; contracts be damned. It’s like a leftist caricature of a Hoppe fanboy.

The ticket holders clearly are entitled to get their pants paid by the venue; and possibly more. The whole thing is a question of a civil suit however; I bet the sillier socialist analyses of the whole debacle would make this a criminal matter of “discrimination” or somesuch male bovine excrement.

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