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Magic fan sues team over marketing campaign using her likeness

Sep 18, 2012, 3:22 AM EDT

Image (1) new-orlando-magic-logo-thumb-250x179-13629.jpg for post 6226

Right now if you were in Orlando you would be complaining about the humidity and rain all week, and you’d see a marketing campaign for the Magic that is everywhere — a photo of a young woman wearing a Dwight Howard jersey cheering. You would see her on busses. On street signs. Everywhere she is exhorting fans to “be loud.”

Now, she wants to get paid for it.

The picture in question was taken during a Magic playoff game in 2011 and the woman has sued the team for using her image without her permission, reports the Orlando Sentinel (hat tip to The Basketball Jones).

The lawsuit, filed last month by Winter Park attorney Hank Hornsby, contends the Magic profited from the commercial and promotional use of (Kristi) Slavin’s face and body, but the team neither compensated nor consulted her…

In the lawsuit, Slavin said the ads, banners and billboard have caused “uncomfortable and embarrassing encounters and questions” from friends, family and co-workers. The document alleges her public image was altered by the unauthorized use.

I would think explaining how you are wearing a Dwight Howard jersey in Orlando right now could lead to awkward questions.

Legally it says on your ticket that your image at the tame could be used in other contexts, which mostly means you could be seen on a television broadcast of the contest or, worse yet, the “kiss cam.” But nobody ever reads those things. Besides, this isn’t just a quick shot of a pretty girl in the stands like is seen on almost every sports broadcast, this is splashing a woman’s face all over the city without her knowing it was coming. As someone who it feels like has a lifetime of experience making women angry, I can say this seems a sure way to do it.

This is great timing for the Magic, who certainly don’t have any alienation of fans to deal with before this happened. Nope. Can’t see why Magic fans would be frustrated at all.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:57 AM

    I hate how litigious we have become and I study and love the law. Enmity against the team you supposedly support. Unless you’re famous, or have trademarked your image as part of a patent, this is but another money grab by a greedy wench.

    • pellypell - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      I run the Miami Dolphin’s PR Dept. I am here to inform Mr. Wright that we will be using his likeness wearing a Chad Johnson jersey all over Florida to promote the Dolphins for the remainder of the season.

      You’re going to be famous, pal.

      • eventhorizon04 - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:39 AM

        Good – make sure you don’t pay him any money. Since he’s not a “greedy wench,” he wouldn’t want any financial compensation.

  2. dl3mk3 - Sep 18, 2012 at 6:29 AM

    It is a sad comment, but i cant help but agree with it.

  3. raidmagic - Sep 18, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    Why would they be using a picture of someone with a Howard jersey in ads at this point? Beyond that why would a real fan care if they used them in an ad? I would think that would be cool and you would be happy to do it

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      Exactly. Instead of looking for any way possible to squeeze money from someone.

    • jolink653 - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      Yeah if I were her I’d have more of a problem being seen in a Howard jersey than I would being in ads for the team

    • eugenesaxe - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:04 PM

      Maybe she doesn’t like strangers stopping her on the street and hassling her?

  4. lastdukestreetking - Sep 18, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Ummm, raidmagic, did you read the story? Happened in 2011. Howard was still wearing a Magic jersey at the time.

  5. kvanhorn87 - Sep 18, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    Lastduke, the point is why would they have a NEW marketing campaign and use an image of a fan wearing a Howard jersey?

  6. blaksteele - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    “uncomfortable and embarrassing encounters and questions” from friends, family and co-workers.”

    Yeah, like “You look great on that billboard, You should be a Magic cheerleader, You could be a model for team.” – I can see how that’s uncomfortable and embarassing.

  7. eventhorizon04 - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Nothing says, “We’re moving on from Dwight now,” than plastering the city with pictures of a fan wearing a Dwight jersey…

    And yes – it’s a current ad campaign. Read the article: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-09-14/features/os-woman-sues-orlando-magic-20120913_1_magic-fan-orlando-magic-magic-spokesman-joel-glass

  8. lastdukestreetking - Sep 18, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    kvanhorn87, it’s not a new campaign. It was part of the team’s ’11-12 advertising. Dwight was still around and the team was still hopeful of keing him then.

  9. magicbucs - Sep 18, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Yea this happened last season, it’s just now getting out. Who cares! Rich De vos is a billionaire. Give the lady a million to shut up and be a real fan. Kurt has nothing else to write about anyway…

  10. tannethrill - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Anyone who disagrees with this girl should spend a moment looking at the pics online. I’m cool with my likeness being in a random print ad or within a group but the entire marketing campaign was based on her one image and when it was used it was huge.

    Any actor or model would easily be paid for something like that and frankly I’m not sure you could pay me enough to have my face all over the place like that. Some of us prefer an inconspicuous approach to life.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      She’s not an actress. Nor famous. The point is, you can only use the “using my likeness without permission” angle when there is a patent or trademark, which is typically reserved for… well, actors/actresses, entertainers, professional athletes, etc. You know, people whose likeness would otherwise make money.

      Not some random Jane who’s looking for a way out of paying student loans.

  11. manchestermiracle - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    If you don’t want a picture of you taken in public to be seen by the public don’t go out in public.

  12. rocirius - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Everybody has a right to their own image. I’m betting that the Magic will settle out-of-court for an undisclosed amount.

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