Former assistant referee Renata Ruel fights in São Paulo’s court against the operator Sky asking for compensation for moral damages in the amount of R$ 20 thousand for sponsorship of the company with CBF.
Ruel, who is now a refereeing commentator for ESPN, claims to have been used as a poster girl for the TV company because of her sponsorship in the sleeves of referees’ shirts and little flags during soccer matches in tournaments such as the Campeonato Paulista and the Campeonato Brasileiro.
According to the allegations of Renata’s defense in the lawsuit, her image was used for commercial purposes, without any authorization.
To support the argument that the referees have enough visibility to serve as billboards and thus bear fruit for those who commercially exploit the uniforms of those who participate in the match, Renata Ruel’s defense cited a study by the Federal University of Minas Gerais. According to the analysis, the image stamped on the referees and their assistants appears about 63 times in a transmission, or approximately 4 minutes.
“Furthermore, we are here dealing with continued damage, since the images referring to the games are commonly replayed on sports channels, football programs in which matches that have already been played are discussed for several years”, argued the defense of the former referee assistant.
The company stated that there was “absolute irrelevance of the author Renata’s personal image for the promotion of Sky’s brand”.
“The only notorious fact in the records is that, if there was undue use of the author’s image, as fallaciously argued in the initial petition, there is nothing to support the attribution of such act to Sky, which acted as a mere purchaser of advertising space in the uniform of the referees and their assistants who acted in the championships organized by the CBF, the highest football entity in Brazil. An identical situation occurs in relation to the brand’s disclosure in the championships organized by the FPF”, justified the company in the process.
Cited, Sky asked that the CBF, the Paulista Football Federation and the sports marketing agency Klefer be included in the process. The confederation told the column that it does not know information about the action.
“CBF was not mentioned in the process involving the former arbitrator and Sky and, therefore, does not know the request and the details of the case. The relations with the arbitrators are regulated in their own documents, which take care, among other aspects, of the relevant assignments. The CBF always values the safeguarding of legal relations with its sponsors and with the referees, since they are all of vital importance for the development of Brazilian football,” stated the governing body of Brazilian football.
The process is not the only one of the type suffered by Sky in the São Paulo courts. In 2019, there were at least four of the same type in the São Paulo Court. In some cases, CBF requests entry in the lawsuits to assist the company’s defense.
Sought, Renata Ruel and FPF said they will not demonstrate. Klefer informed on Friday (11) that the company’s legal department would get in touch to give its version. When you do, this report will be updated.