In the ruling yesterday (8 May), the court said Bet365 breached the rights of athletes by posting images and using their names on its social media channels between 21 February 2019 and 11 March 2021.
Bet365 had argued that using the images and names should have been regarded as editorial content as part of its social media output, but the court disagreed and considered it to be marketing.
The court awarded each athlete DKK50,000 per notice of remuneration and compensation, in accordance with the country’s Marketing Act.
Danish football star Christian Eriksen, currently of Manchester United in the English Premier League, was the athlete impacted the most by the case, with his name or image having appeared on Bet365’s social media 29 times during the period. He was awarded DKK1.5m in compensation.
Other impacted athletes included Danish national team goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who had his rights infringed 10 times and was due DKK500,000. Schmeichel currently plays for OGN Nice in France but was with Leicester City in the Premier League at the time of the breach.
National football team captain Simon Kjær was the subject of six breaches and was awarded a compensation package worth DKK350,000, while women’s football star Pernille Harder was also issued DKK350,000 for seven incidences of rights infringement.
Danish football legend Peter Schmeichel, who is retired but now works as a pundit, was also awarded DKK350,00 after his name and image was used seven times.
In addition to compensation, the court ordered Bet365 to pay a further DKK311,500 in legal costs incurred by the Danish Players’ Association, Danish Elite Sports Athletes’ Association and Danish Handball Players’ Association for bringing the case to court.