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We bring a combination of industry specific experience, legal knowledge, and business sophistication to the fast-paced and multifaceted sports and entertainment industry. Our knowledge of emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices helps to assist our clients secure objectives and gain a competitive advantage. Our sports law practitioners have experience in corporate, labor and employment, antitrust, advertising, licensing, intellectual property, rights of publicity, traditional and new media, technology, data security and privacy, tax, and litigation. When client needs demand more specific levels of knowledge, we collaborate with professionals from other groups in the firm for a truly multidisciplinary approach.

We have served clients in connection with a wide variety of transactions such as stadium and arena naming rights, leaguewide official marketing partnerships, multimedia rights, facility use agreements, digital marketing and advertising, team sponsorships, consumer product licensing, and brand endorsement agreements. Given our experience in the industry, we are able to add a credible business viewpoint, which is in addition to the legal services necessary to complete a comprehensive and binding legal document.

Our sports attorneys provide services from the opening tip-off to final buzzer

  • Venue naming rights agreements
  • League and team trademarks licensing
  • Sponsorship and promotional agreements
  • Brand endorsement and marketing agreements
  • FCC and FTC guidelines and compliance
  • Marketing and sponsorship agreements with professional sports leagues and franchises
  • Development of athletics facilities and athletics complexes
  • Legal compliance related to NCAA rules, NIL opportunities, and related state and federal laws
  • Legal compliance related to sweepstakes and contests
  • Review of master service agreements within the sports industry to ensure current best practices and legal compliance
  • Litigation and administrative proceedings covering matters throughout the sports and entertainment industry
  • Gaming operators navigating tribal gaming laws associated with commercial gaming, including sports betting
  • Consumer product licensing agreements
  • Event marketing agreements
  • Copyright and trademark protection and usage guidelines
  • Protections from ambush marketing tactics
  • Sports and entertainment industry mergers and acquisitions
  • Representation of players in league disciplinary proceedings and collective bargaining grievances

Our entertainment attorneys work with every client from concept to completion

  • Licensing, enforcing, and protecting rights of personality, publicity, and privacy
  • Developing brand-extension opportunities for celebrities, such as for-profit museums or brand ambassador/endorsement agreements
  • Production, distribution, and publishing of music and media content on all platforms
  • Video gaming design, production, and marketing
  • E-Sports
  • Literary publishing
  • The visual arts (painting, sculpting, etc.), exhibitions, museum, and gallery agreements
  • Talent agreement drafting and negotiation
  • Media production, distribution, and licensing agreements
  • Personal service and talent agreements across all platforms

A unified practice operating nationally with support from multiple disciplines

Nelson Mullins’ sports and entertainment law practice is national in scope, with a practice set up to function cohesively across all of our offices. We follow a client-focused approach to achieving client objectives at a competitive price. When needed, our attorneys can draw in resources from many other legal disciplines to provide well-rounded service to this complex sector of business. At all times, we work side by side with our clients toward their goals.

Our experience includes

  • Structuring and negotiating venue-naming rights agreements
  • Negotiating and preparing deal documents with distributors, programming producers, sports teams, and other agencies
  • Securing and licensing league and team trademarks for use in regional and national advertising and marketing campaigns
  • Negotiating endorsement branding and marketing agreements for both professional athletes and companies
  • Protecting client brands within sponsorship and promotional relationships
  • Counseling clients on FCC and FTC guidelines and compliance
  • Advising and negotiating marketing and sponsorship agreements with the PGA Tour and leagues such as the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL and their member franchises
  • Structuring and negotiating consumer product licensing agreements
  • Representing companies and other businesses seeking to access and secure new name image and likeness relationships with high school and NCAA student athletes
  • Assisting in structuring and negotiating event marketing agreements
  • Offering legal public relations counsel for issues unique to college athletics programs
  • Counseling regarding proper usage and protection of copyrights and trademarks
  • Structuring protections from ambush marketing tactics
  • Advising and ensuring legal compliance related to sweepstakes and contests
  • Reviewing and updating existing client agreements with current best practices and policies
  • Advising casino gaming operators, vendors, and entrepreneurs on how to navigate state sports betting and daily fantasy sports laws and regulations
  • Assisting gaming operators in understanding the implications of tribal gaming law for commercial gaming, including sports betting 
  • Substantial engagement by partners with industry-specific experience
  • Extensive knowledge of evolving best practices, trends, and precedents
  • Multidisciplinary team with a practical, business mindset for solving problems and achieving objectives
  • Responsive services delivered within demanding turnaround time lines
  • Cost-efficient staffing models with cost predictability

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