What a Craft Brewery Needs to Know about Sponsoring Photo and Video Contests

Photo and video contests usually center on consumers using the sponsor’s product or service. The use of smart phone cameras has fueled the popularity of these internet contests for both consumers and sponsors.

These can be especially popular marketing endeavors for craft breweries when combined with social media campaigns. A microbrewery that wants to sponsor a contest for consumers to submit photos or videos of people drinking the craft brew brand should be sure that contest participants give the sponsoring company the right to use the photo (from the photographer, not the contest entrant alone). If the entrant is not the person who took the photo, there is a risk of copyright infringement claims. The easiest way to obtain the necessary permission is to include an official contest rule that provides that all entrants and winners agree to allow the sponsor to use the photo, an adding a click box to online entries providing the same, and acknowledging that the entrant is the photographer.

A sponsor will also want to protect its reputation with the right to reject submissions that are inappropriate or violate the rights of a third party. Sponsors may also consider making professional photographers ineligible.

Some states have laws that affect contest rules by sponsors. Check with your attorney to be sure you are compliant, especially for national contests.