Sports

Use IP to reduce dependency on govt…Sports feds told

Sports federations in the country have been urged to use their Intellectual Property (IP) to become self sustaining and reduce the dependence on government as far as funding was concerned, Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Ms. Gloria Akuffo has said.

In a speech read on her behalf by Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame at this year’s World IP Day held on Friday in Accra under the theme “Reach for Gold: IP and Sports,” she said, sports federations could generate funds to manage their activities without support from government if they use their IP adequately.

That, she said, will reduce the pressure on the national budget and avoid the “No Money” syndrome that is affecting the growth of sports in the country.

The event brought together representatives including Copyright Administrator, Ms. Yaa Attafua, Ms. Christine Evans-Klock of the UNDP and Kwame Baah Mensah a representative of the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah.

Also present were IP Icons including, Black Queens coach Mercy Tagoe who was presented with citations in recognition of their role in supporting the growth of IP in Ghana.

The Attorney General said, IP is a very powerful tool that was used globally to develop sports and also generate revenue for clubs and federations and Ghana must take advantage of the development.

“In Ghana, it is only in the last two decades that knowledge of the connection between IP and Sports has become pronounced. From Prof. Azumah Nelson to Stephen Appiah and more recently Isaac Dogboe, the power of branding in sports has been registered, “she stated.

“Here in Ghana, we can attest to the fact that since 2006, every World Cup year has witnessed a boost for jerseys and flag sales, boosting domestic tourism, protecting our nation internationally and boosting seasonal employment for the duration of the tournament, “she said.

“That day is coming when Ghanaian sportsmen and women will be able to use IP (with its attendant image rights) the way Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Cristiano Ronaldo do. Until then, we will continue to sensitise our sportsmen that IP was not a far-fetched academic legal concept but rather, something to be harnessed to maximize their earnings and ensure greater visibility, “she stressed.

Ms. Akuffo said it was time for Ghana to raise a new corps of sports administrators and coaches who would let their charges understand how IP and sports can let them attain the ultimate in sports through IP Concepts like personality or reputation mechandizing, trademarks, image rights and copyright.

The Registrar General, Mrs. Jemima M. Oware said, her outfit was poised to assist the sporting fraternity to use IP to develop them and also acquire financial gains.

BY MICHAEL D.ABAYATEYE

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