Yesterday I was traveling uptown and I spotted this bus. At first glance, it's just a plain DC Metrobus - the G8, in fact. It travels from Farragut North downtown all the way up to the eastern border of the city. All along, drivers to the rear of the bus are treated to an advertisement. In this case, it's an advertising campaign for a leukemia/lymphoma race to raise funds and awareness.
A bit of research (here) shows that they probably spent about $500 to have this ad showcased around the city for four weeks, for one ad, and they have to do more than one, probably more like 20 to 40, which tanslates to $10k to $20k, for four weeks.
Do these photos below look like advertising photographs?They are. "But wait!" you say, did they sign model releases? You bet they did. The very fact that they are wearing the race number, or race-specific shirt means they signed this form (or one just like it), which includes, in part:
I also give permission to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Inc. and its sponsors for the free use of my name, picture and voice in any broadcast, telecast, print account, or any other account in any medium of this Event (the “Personal Release”). I understand that this Personal Release is perpetual in time and that it encompasses, without limitation, any copyright or right of publicity or privacy that I may have in my name, picture and voice.Now, I am not picking on this organization in specific, I am commenting on how these photos - seemingly generic event photos, become advertising images for an expensive advertising campaign.
Be very cognizant when you sign away all your rights because you think the photos are just photos of a foot-race or other generic event. Do I know one way or another if this photographer was paid at all; paid an event rate; or paid an advertising rate? I do not. But what I do know is that many many people sign away all rights to their images because they think "what are they going to do with them anyway? They don't have model releases..." and so on, and so forth. The above images are model released images, and will be used in not just advertising campaigns (take special note of the corporate logos at the bottom of the ad - Seagate, American Airlines, Nike) and also seen on their website here. These are the corporations that are benefiting from this positive visibility.
What do they get? From this cached file, we see, for a LOCAL sponsorship in New York:
Gold Sponsorship $10,000 +That doesn't get you that national advertising placement like is shown on the ad. Those rates are probably closer to $100k.•Your company logo will be silk screened on all the team racing singlets and jerseys for four seasons.
•Your company will be named Title Sponsor of the NYC Team In Training Team for four seasons (approximately 18 events in the Spring, Summer Fall, Winter including localevents. Each event has at least 3 major functions connected with them).
•Your company will be listed as a Title Sponsor one full year in our Team in Training Manual and local TNTwebsite.
•Your company will be spotlighted once a season for four seasons in our TNT monthly newsletters that aredistributed to all active participants.
•Your company banner will be displayed prominently at all Team In Training events (kick off parties, sendoff parties, local events etc.)
•Your company brochure will be placed in all team participants’ send off goodie bags for each season
Again, I applaud the organizers of these types of events for their ability to fund-raise, and to make a difference, but when you are offered $300 or $500 to be the photographer at one of these events, and you are required to sign an "all rights" or "work for hire" contract that they present to you, do not think for one minute that they won't use the photography for advertising and other commerial purposes, and further, realize they are allowed to make those images available to the corporate sponsors for the purposes of their own advertising.
In my case, several years back, I was called upon to photograph a foot race here in DC. I did it, with a limited rights package, and they kept coming back. When someone new came in, they tried the "you have to sign our contract" argument, and we parted ways for a few years. Then, after lackluster results, the organizers came back and I have again done their foot races with limited rights packages. I have done more than one foot race for more than one organizer over the years here, and we recognize the value of these images, and I want to encourage you to recognize it to, whether a foot race, or other event where you *think* the images have little value.
If you do, then think again.
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