Sports

Practice Contacts

Sports

Our Sports Practice team has experience handling transactional and litigation matters faced by the many individuals and organizations involved in amateur, collegiate, and professional sports, including coaches, athletes, agents, and corporate sponsors.  Our team has been involved in providing advice relating to charitable activities, international tournaments, team acquisition, the purchase and sale of sporting venues, and related real estate matters.

Our team confronts the complex legal challenges faced by organized sports programs, along with liability and professional insurance claims, not to mention the blitz of new issues central to this highly specialized practice area – including intellectual property, employment liability, player endorsements, rules compliance, and the implementation of sport specific safety-related protocols. Our approach providing representation to sports organizations at both the professional and amateur levels, and via insurance carriers, is to employ our strategically focused legal resources to contain any threat and mount the best suited defense or offense, which is particular to our client’s need.  We have a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental principles and rules governing organized sports, and vast experience in dealing with the unique industry challenges presented to leagues, teams, franchises, stadiums, arenas, participants, and fans, on and off the field of play.

We are familiar with manufacturers and designers of sports, fitness, and recreational products and equipment, and how best to minimize legal exposure.  We also represent sports arenas and venues, providing risk assessment and management, and personal injury defense, as well as commercial litigation, including intellectual property protection and vendor contract disputes.

Litigation:

  • Copyright and trademark prosecution and defense, infringement actions, right of publicity, false light, inappropriate use of name and likeness, and defamation and disparagement.
  • Professional and personal liability claims.
  • Employment claims, including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, breach of personal services contracts, including morals clause violations.
  • Employment liability claims, including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination, breach of contract, breach of restrictive covenants for competition, hiring, or distribution of confidential information.
  • Commercial litigation involving breach of contract, disputes over rights and obligations with respect to ownership, rights, and royalties.
  • Crisis management and public relations counsel.

Intellectual Property:

  • Intellectual property rights protection, social media, and rights to privacy and publicity matters.
  • Global intellectual property rights, including domestic and foreign registration, protection, clearance, and enforcement litigation.
  • Representation and protection of brands, athletes, and endorsements.

Employment:

  • Employment agreements, including professional athlete performance and morals clauses.
  • Representation for employee, consultant, and contractor hiring programs including:
    • Drafting and negotiating offer letters, independent contractor and executive agreements, agency agreements, resolving employee disputes, and creating employment manuals, policies and procedures.
    • Handling terminations, suspensions, transitions, and misconduct claims; compensation and contract disputes; harassment and discrimination prevention and defense; and non-compete and other restrictive covenants.
  • Protection of ownership of materials and trade secrets created for your company.
  • NCAA eligibility, compliance, investigations, and infraction proceedings.
  • Employment, benefits and pension agreements, as well as separation and transition arrangements.
  • Collective bargaining agreements.
  • Agent regulations.

Business Transactions and Contract Negotiations:

  • Business entity formation and governance.
  • Contract review and negotiation, including marketing contracts.
  • Asset protection
  • Privacy rights and protection of rights to name and licensing agreements.
  • Stadium, arena, or venue construction contract negotiations.
  • Professional sport franchise acquisitions and sales.
  • Complex commercial transactions.
  • Brand analysis, management, strategy, and protection.
  • Marketing, sponsorship and internet services agreements.
  • Tax compliance.

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