Extra Innings - Vol. 30

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to this week's edition of Extra Innings. I hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving with friends and family. Thanksgiving was a nice reminder of normalcy during what has been a hectic year. While many of us put our phones aside, there were important developments in the sports world popping up all around.

Name, Image, Likeness Conversation Shifts to Pro Soccer

Recently, soccer greats Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gareth Bale questioned why video game franchise, FIFA, was able to profit from their names, images, and likenesses without consent. Ibrahimovic explained that there was no discussion with the creators of the game, FIFA, or FIFPro (the sport’s global players’ union) about using his image in the game.

Ibrahimovic and Bale are discussing ideas that are similar to what US college athletes are working toward, with the major difference being that the two soccer players are professionals while college students have amateur status. EA Sports, the creator of the FIFA franchise, has already pulled games such as NCAA Football, but it would be hard to imagine pulling a game as popular as FIFA. More likely, the video game maker and FIFPro will come to an agreement, paying the players for their names, images, and likenesses.

Music Industry Cracking down on Sports Copyright Infringements

With such easy access to music these days, teams and players may not realize that they are unknowingly using licensed music. When teams post victory celebrations from locker rooms with music in the background, there may be copyright violations. Music that comes from Spotify or Apple Music has been paid for, but not by the social account that is posting. This year, the issue is even more prevalent as teams and players use social media platforms to connect with fans during the pandemic.

The shift in content has forced music labels to protect licensed music and notify parties in violation of copyright usage. This has led organizations like the NFL to purchase blanket policies that allow teams to use music without the fear of violating policy, enabling them to remain in good standing with the music industry.

Notable Information From the Sports World:

  • FIFA: FIFA has proposed worldwide maternity leave regulations for players and coaches that are up for approval in December. Players would be entitled to a minimum of 14 weeks of paid leave. Clubs that do not abide by the new proposal face paying fines, and enduring “sporting sanctions.”

  • Olympics: It appears that the first trial run by the Japanese Olympic committee was promising enough to warrant a second much larger test this spring. The Olympics committee is planning to invite athletes from abroad in the tests that it conducts in four sports: swimming, gymnastics, diving, and volleyball.

  • New Orleans Pelicans: The Pelicans have announced Ibotta as its jersey sponsor for the 2020-21 season. Interestingly, Ibotta competes with Rakuten and Honey, both of whom sponsor other teams in the NBA. New Orleans is the third team to announce a new jersey sponsor heading into the new season.

  • Clemson: Clemson is crying foul as Florida State canceled last week’s game due to Coronavirus surging. Someone in their traveling party showed symptoms of the virus but didn’t test positive. Instead of isolating the player and continuing with the scheduled game, the game was canceled outright. This is the first instance where a team has disagreed with the decision to cancel a game when all protocols were followed.


Nick Goss