There is a good article on ESPN.com about players wearing sponsorhip logos on TV. I think all parties are in the right here and there will be some struggle over time with some sort of compromise in the end.
Seeing how important the logo industry is to, say, golf and NASCAR, I think it will inevitably be allowed. Why would Phil Ivey play in a tournament that doesn't allow him to wear a logo if he can go somewhere else and get enough money from FullTiltPoker to more than cover his buy in?
The first step will be non-poker related logos. The example given in the article was for a bourbon. In time, I think they will look like NASCAR cars with online poker site logos from head to toe.
I like the idea of a union - it makes sense as the next logical progression.
But I can't seem to think that but only a few players (< 30) have the leverage to change things. Not that many are a recognizable name-brand. They are famous because the Travel Channel puts them on TV and I doubt they could be famous without it. It's just not big enough yet. Even if all of the major named players quit, they would just be replaced by guys who are willing to go along with the travel channel rules.
Although I must admit that Lederer has a point that he is paying to play (ie the NFL doesn't charge the players entry fees). Maybe the solution would be for the TV networks to pay the players, but then that would lead to some serious ethical questions.
And besides, most players are independent romantic types and any sort of organization or "protest" would be kind of anathemical to the whole idea of being a professional gambler.
"The thing that galls me is I am forced to sign a document that essentially gives the World Poker Tour the right to use my image that they've filmed, not just at the final table, but at any time during the tournament in any way they wish for an unlimited amount of time in any type of media," Lederer continues. "That would include using my performance and my image to help promote products that might specifically compete against products that I endorse."
No one FORCES anyone to do anything. If you don't care for the rules, don't play. Even better, pony up the HUGE up front costs of producing a tournament and televesion show and set your own rules. These guys were no where before the travel channel, not vice versa.