In a recent ruling, the Maritime and Commercial High Court of Denmark has ordered Hillside-owned Bet365 to pay a sum of DKK4.7m (£549,712/€631,064/$693,852) to a group of Danish athletes as compensation for unauthorised usage of names and images on Bet365’s social media platforms. The court established that between 21 February 2019 and 11 March 2021, Bet365 had violated the rights of these athletes.
While Bet365 argued that such usage was part of its editorial content on social media, the court determined it to be marketing. As a result, the affected athletes were awarded DKK50,000 per notice of remuneration and compensation, in line with the Danish Marketing Act.
Among the athletes, Christian Eriksen, a Danish footballer currently signed with Manchester United, was the most impacted, with 29 instances of unauthorised usage. He was awarded DKK1.5m in compensation.
Other athletes include national team goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who received DKK500,000 for 10 infringements, team captain Simon Kjær, who obtained DKK350,000 for six breaches, and women’s football star Pernille Harder, who was compensated with DKK350,000 for seven rights infringements. Retired football legend Peter Schmeichel, currently working as a pundit, was also granted DKK350,000 for seven unauthorized usages of his name and image.
Furthermore, the court required Bet365 to cover an additional DKK311,500 in legal expenses for the Danish Players’ Association, Danish Elite Sports Athletes’ Association, and Danish Handball Players’ Association, which had initiated the legal proceedings.