Free Guide to Licensing College Sports Images and Playback Footage

You saw this great piece of video from an old college basketball game that would be a perfect fit for the project you’re working on.  But how do you even begin to get permission to use that footage?  Don’t worry – we have you covered.  This guide will take you through step-by-step and show you everything you’ll need to officially license that college sports content and be completely protected.


The easiest thing to do is take a look at the process one step at a time.

1) Determine which type of content you need.

Obviously, there are a lot of options out there, but here are a few questions you can ask yourself to get you started.

  • Do you need video? Still images? Audio tracks?
  • Which sport? Basketball? Football? Hockey? Soccer?
  • Do you need a particular team or game?
  • Do you prefer a day or night game?

2) Get some research help

The internet is a big place. It could take a while if you had to try and track down the exact images or pieces of video that you wanted to use. There are companies, like XOS Licensing, that can help do the legwork for you.  The best part?  Some will actually do it for free.  You give them an idea of what you are looking for and they will provide you with a free research screener or sample images to make sure it’s exactly what you need.

3) Select the perfect footage or images

You know best what you’re going to need for your project. Now that the research has been done, you’ve been provided with a variety of options. You can sit down and select the content that is going to work best for your needs. Did you get the perfect clip for that documentary? Were you able to get the right image to set the scene in the movie?  The smallest details can make a world of difference when it comes to providing authenticity.

4) Make sure the trademarks and athletes have been cleared

Nobody likes to receive a cease and desist letter, right? That’s why this step is so important.  Don’t worry, it’s not as complex as it sounds.  When you work with an experienced college sports licensing company they can walk you through the whole process.  In fact, some can even make it easy by providing clearance services to ensure you have permission to use all trademarks and athlete likenesses that appear in your content.

5) Ready. Set. Go.

Now that you’ve gone through the first four steps, you’ve researched and selected the perfect content.  The rest is up to you.  You can move forward and complete your project knowing that you’ve taken all the steps needed to officially license the college sports playback footage, images, or trademarks that you are using.