Don’t get caught offside

Article  \  7 Jun 2017

The DHL NZ Lions Series has hit our shores. With the flood of rugby enthusiasts into the country and businesses looking to benefit over the next six weeks , now is a good time to brush up on the advertising dos and don’ts for operating during the Series.

The DHL NZ Lions Series is a ‘major event’ covered by the Major Event Management Act 2007 (MEMA). MEMA prevents businesses who are not official sponsors of the DHL NZ Lions Series from:

  • Advertising in a way that suggests an association with the DHL NZ Lions Series, and 
  • Advertising in clean zones or clean transport routes during clean periods.

As part of this, MEMA has banned the use of protected emblems, logos and word/word combinations related to the Series. These include phrases like ‘DHL New Zealand Lion Series’, ‘Lions Series’, ‘Lions Tour’, ‘The British & Irish Lions’ and the following emblems:  

Lions 1Lions 2Lions 3

A full list of the protected emblems, logos and word/word combinations can be viewed here

The use of protected emblems, logos or words by unauthorised businesses is banned because it may create an association between the DHL NZ Lion Series 2017 and the unauthorised business, which fails to recognise the significant investment of official sponsors.

Examples of acceptable and prohibited activities are:





Using general sporting, New Zealand, British or Irish terms

Using protected emblems or words on products, e.g. a Lion Series emblem on a hat or a bag


Using general terms like 'New Zealand' or 'rugby' on your advertising

Using protected emblems or words in your print, digital or other advertising

Websites and social media platforms

Using general rugby related terms on your website and in your social media content

Using protected emblems or words as a domain name, on your website or in social media

Store displays

Using general terms like 'WE SUPPORT NEW ZEALAND' or national flags

Using protected emblems or words in your decorations or set-up

Business activities

Do not use protected wording as a company name.

Provide details of the sporting event without reference to your business, for example 'Live rugby on tonight' along with the sports team details

Naming a company or promoting its services with protected wording like 'DHL Series Caterers Limited' or 'Lions Series guided bus tours'.

Suggesting a business sponsors an event by using wording like 'Sporting World Limited brings you the Lions Series'.

Businesses or individuals who perform prohibited kinds of activities risk penalties of up to $150,000 under MEMA. The use may also be subject to the Trade Marks Act 2002, the Fair Trading Act 1986, and passing off.

Further details about how to advertise and what the protected emblems, logos, words and clean zones are can be accessed here.