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Sports Business  

As a result of the firm’s sports industry experience, start-up leagues and circuits, teams, team owners, sponsors and other sports organizations and businesses have come to the firm for business counseling, contract negotiations, collective bargaining, tax advice and deals that have included substantial corporate transactions.

Diverse Legal Subject Matter as Applied to the Business of Sports

Williams & Connolly LLP’s firm-wide experience includes many areas that are applicable to its sports practice, including antitrust, contracts, corporate law, the law of partnerships and limited liability companies, real estate, estate planning and tax law, franchise law, intellectual property, internet issues, labor law, constitutional law, criminal law, RICO, unfair competition and other common law torts.  In addition, Williams & Connolly lawyers also provide guidance and counsel on the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 and 1966, federal laws concerning gambling, sports gambling, sports lotteries and state laws governing sports agent registration.

In many different situations, individuals, businesses and organizations in the sports industry retain Williams & Connolly for advice and corporate work in situations in which the goal of the client is to avoid litigation or to be well-positioned in the event that litigation results.  In other situations, clients seek the benefit of Williams & Connolly attorneys’ experience with issues related to subjects that include sports, sports financing, sports sponsorship, the structure and operation of sports leagues and circuits, and sports broadcasting.  The types of sports-related matters for which individuals and businesses come to Williams & Connolly include:

  • The launch of a new professional sports league or a circuit of events, including advice about all relevant league or circuit constitutions, bylaws, rules and regulations.
  • Efforts by groups of athletes to promote themselves collectively or to further their position as a group in disputes or cooperative activity with the teams and sports businesses that employ them.
  • Contract negotiations and other business matters for professional, collegiate and Olympic sport executives, coaches and sports broadcasters.
  • Advice and drafting of agreements concerning sponsorship and licensing having to do with athletes, sports organizations and other businesses involved in sports.
  • Drafting and negotiation of university agreements with college coaches and other sports personnel in compliance with, among other things, the rules and regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and various college conferences.
  • The sale or acquisition of major league and minor league sports teams and franchises.
  • Negotiation and drafting of radio, television and cable contracts for professional and collegiate sports teams.
  • Stadium and arena development, planning, construction and leasing.
  • Advice to universities and college conferences about conference bylaws and agreements, conference realignment, compliance with NCAA rules and policies and other issues related to their sports programs.
  • Negotiation and drafting of contracts for sports broadcasting talent and other personnel.
  • Advice concerning bylaws, policies, governing documents, rules and regulations of organizations involved in the Olympic movement.