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Use of Athlete Photos by Third Parties

July 23, 2014

Special Olympics -- including Accredited Programs and Games Organizing Committees -- may use images of Special Olympics athletes to promote Special Olympics events and activities. HOWEVER, any third-party use of an athlete's image will require a separate consent.

Getting Athlete Consents

Please contact Saundra Grice (sgrice@specialolympics.org) for details on obtaining individual consents for third-party usage.

From the General Rules, Uses of Athlete Images

2.03 (A) Permissible Uses; Required Consents

No Accredited Program or GOC, corporate sponsor or other organizational supporter or donor of any Accredited Program or GOC, or any other party acting under authority of an Accredited Program or GOC, may use, display, broadcast, reproduce or publish the name or likeness of any Special Olympics athlete for any purpose whatsoever, except those expressly authorized in the Athlete Release Form (pursuant to Section 2.02 (d)) signed by or on behalf of that athlete at the time of his/her initial registration with Special Olympics, without obtaining a separate additional written consent from that athlete, or from the parent or guardian of a minor athlete. 

If such a separate consent is required because the proposed use of an athlete's name or likeness will go beyond the purposes permitted by the Athlete Release Form, that separate consent shall clearly identify when, where and how the athlete's name and likeness will be used, the nature and purpose of the activity in connection with which that use will occur, including whether the activity involves the marketing or sale of commercial products or services, and what monetary benefit, if any, the Accredited Program or GOC expects to receive as a result of that activity. SOI reserves the right to prohibit an Accredited Program or GOC from using an athlete's name or likeness in ways which go beyond the purposes permitted by the Athlete Release Form, if SOI determines that the proposed use is contrary to the best interests of Special Olympics. No Accredited Program shall knowingly permit the name or likeness of any Special Olympics athlete to be exploited for commercial purposes. The publicity release contained in the Athlete Release Form is intentionally limited by SOI to authorization for the use of an athlete's name, likeness, voice and words for the purpose of promoting and publicizing the purpose of Special Olympics and/or applying for or raising funds for the support of Special Olympics programs, and does not include commercial activities or the marketing or endorsement of commercial products or services. 

2.03 (B) Manner of Use An Accredited Program must ensure that any athlete's name, likeness, voice or words, when used by the Accredited Program or by any of its sponsors or other supporters in ways that conform to the permissions granted in the Athlete Release Form, will also be used at all times in a manner that respects the dignity of the athlete and preserves the public image of Special Olympics. Accredited Programs shall require, wherever possible, that an athlete's name be published along with his or her photograph if the photograph contains a discernible likeness of that athlete, and if the publication or display of both the athlete's name and likeness are otherwise permitted by that athlete's executed Athlete Release Form.