Today, pro teams are highly restricted in what they are allowed to do in their local markets by League head office. For example, fans are often not able to create images, merchandise, videos, mashups, stories or music about their favorite team without getting a ‘cease and desist’ letter from highly paid League lawyers who are looking to protect league licensees. So fans need to create underground websites, Twitter/Facebook/YouTube accounts, blogs, podcasts and other online as well as real life properties that hide their real identity—they are forced to become underground fans.
“A while ago I created a bunch of t-shirts with my favourite football players on them using the motif of the film 'SIN CITY'. The idea was to create cool stuff that folks could buy during the playoffs with all the funds raised going to benefit local charities. But after I got a bit of media traction, we received a cease and desist letter from a League lawyer and we had to stop. Now I am an underground fan of my team—if I ever do this again, I’ll do it anonymously. The thing that gets me is that league policies destroy any creativity by fans as well as local teams, everything is just the same everywhere.”
by Prof Bruce May 21, 2010
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