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For decades, Davis & Gilbert has guided and advised individuals and businesses of every kind in their dealings in the sports industry. Sponsors and advertisers, athletes and entertainers, leagues, teams and unions, financers and investors, and vendors and suppliers all have relied on Davis & Gilbert as a trusted advisor. As the industry engages with fans in new and dynamic ways, no law firm is better positioned to guide clients through the evolving laws, business practices and regulatory scrutiny seeking to keep pace with these developments. Whether facing issues of technology, regulation or intellectual property, we help clients achieve their business objectives by anticipating, identifying and resolving challenges they face.

THE DAVIS & GILBERT ADVANTAGE
The sports industry is under constant transformation, with both established and emerging sports expanding geographically and reaching out to new audiences. With this explosion of growth, the challenges facing all the participants in the business of sports have become increasingly complex. Davis & Gilbert is at the forefront of these developments and regularly helps clients assess and address new issues facing businesses of all types involved in the sports sector.

OUR PRACTICE
Davis & Gilbert has deep experience in the many areas of law that impact the sports industry – from promotions, gaming and communications to real estate leasing and intellectual property – which provides us with the unique ability to help our clients capitalize on new opportunities by determining what strategies will be permissible in the future.

Our specific areas of experience include:

  • Marketing and Sponsorship
  • Media Rights and Entertainment
  • Trademark and Licensing
  • Social Media, Data Protection and Privacy
  • Corporate and Tax
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Employment and Benefits
  • Facilities and Real Estate

MARKETING AND SPONSORSHIP
Davis & Gilbert is known worldwide for its preeminence in marketing, promotions and communications law, and is therefore well-positioned to guide clients through the ever-expanding scope and sophistication of sports marketing. The firm’s attorneys are regularly called upon by sports industry clients to review concepts, content, and the traditional and digital ways in which messages are disseminated and promoted. Our experience extends to such cutting-edge areas as the FTC guidelines for marketers dealing with bloggers and celebrity endorsements, with a particular focus on endorsement and testimonial issues in the social media arena. We assist clients with digital rights, product placement, behavioral and interactive advertising and mobile marketing. We are well-versed on all kinds of promotional activities, including fantasy sports, sweepstakes, skill contests, user generated content, charitable promotions (including commercial co-venturer arrangements), tie-ins and cutting-edge marketing techniques such as mobile, social media, viral, and guerilla.

In addition, Davis & Gilbert’s attorneys have vast experience guiding clients through the ever-changing landscape of sports sponsorships. We regularly negotiate sponsorship agreements for each of the four major team sports (NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL), NASCAR, and the USOC, as well as custom sporting events such as extreme sports and ice skating competitions. Working closely with our clients allows us to identify in advance the issues of greatest concern to them, whether competitive, reputational or liability focused.

MEDIA RIGHTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
With a dynamic and diverse sports media market as a backdrop, global media companies, established sports leagues and emerging sports organizations all turn to Davis & Gilbert for the firm’s unique and holistic view of the rapidly evolving sports media landscape. Drawing upon the breadth and depth of our entertainment and digital media practices, Davis & Gilbert guides its clients through all aspects of a media rights transaction, whether it be the challenges of exporting a league to international markets, identifying new media opportunities for traditional media rights players, or structuring innovative deals for clients in emerging sports to maximize exposure across traditional and digital media and create viable models for long lasting success.

In addition, the blurring of traditional lines between sports and entertainment has created new opportunities for participants in the sports industry, and Davis & Gilbert regularly helps clients capitalize on their entertainment ventures. We negotiate agreements for the creation and production of sports awards shows, as well as halftime and other sports-related performances. We also guide our sports clients as well as producers on the development, production, distribution and financing of sports-themed movies, television programs and other content.

TRADEMARKS AND LICENSING
Davis & Gilbert brings leading-edge intellectual property experience and knowledge to our sports practice, often addressing novel issues in the most sophisticated ways. We handle issues relating to the creation and use of intellectual property in the sports arena, including all aspects of domestic and international trademark prosecution, management and protection, as well as the licensing of these properties, on behalf of teams, governing bodies and other licensors as well as sponsors, marketers and other sports industry licensees. Our longstanding relationships with our clients enable us to resolve usage problems before they become litigation claims. However, when IP issues do require litigation, Davis & Gilbert has the resources and experience to handle complex intellectual property cases throughout the country.

Many of our sports clients engage in non-traditional marketing tactics such as viral marketing, word-of-mouth and email campaigns surrounding major U.S. and international sporting events, including the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the World Cup and others. These strategies can involve a complex array of legal and regulatory issues that our IP attorneys are well qualified to address. In these situations, we work with clients to ensure proper use of their own and third-party trademarks as well as compliance with statutory and regulatory rules and standards.

SOCIAL MEDIA, DATA PROTECTION AND PRIVACY
Social media has a tremendous impact on the sports industry, and our digital media attorneys are at the forefront of developments in this area. We work closely with our clients to provide advice, protocols and contracts that implicate new and social media, especially the application of marketing laws to online activities (such as virtual marketing, blogs and mobile apps) and use of electronic devices (such as tablets and smart phones). We advise sports industry clients on all aspects of advertising and marketing on social media and in developing their social media pages and applications. We also assist with policies for use of social media by athletes and other employees, including compliance with the FTC’s updated online advertising disclosure guidelines (the Dot Com Disclosures). We work with many clients on preparing social media guidelines that respect intellectual property, confidentiality and accuracy of the content being disseminated.

Moreover, the modern sports industry derives much of its strength and popularity from the deep bonds with fans, which are reflected in the vast amounts of personal data that fans provide to teams, leagues and sports marketers. Our attorneys are extremely well-versed in the data protection and privacy issues facing all businesses – both online and offline – in their management, use and handling of data. We advise clients on privacy laws and issues that include COPPA, GLB, HIPAA, ECPA, security breach notification laws, consumer disclosures, transborder data transfers, internal security practices and any other risks or threats that involve data security concerns.

CORPORATE AND TAX
Our corporate attorneys provide a comprehensive spectrum of informed and innovative transactional, entrepreneurial and general corporate and tax advisory services to a full range of sports organizations. We work with clients on many complex and high-profile transactions while simultaneously attending to day-to-day legal needs, advising them on changes and developments in relevant laws.

We represent sports clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, equity and debt financing, recapitalizations, and a range of commercial agreements. We also provide tax advice in connection with the structuring of all types of corporate transactions, as well as tax-free reorganizations, taxable asset and stock purchases, spin-offs, financings, corporate recapitalizations and debt restructurings. A significant portion of our practice focuses on representing private equity investors on their acquisitions and investments in sports teams.

LITIGATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Davis & Gilbert’s litigation practice handles a full spectrum of commercial matters affecting the sports industry, including contract and licensing disputes, employment issues, restrictive covenants, trademark and copyright infringement, false advertising, unfair competition, domain name protection, among many other types of disputes. We work with our sports industry clients to forcefully pursue and defend claims to help protect their interests, and we have an impressive track record of handling complex cases that require both an aggressive and creative approach. We have represented clients in international licensing and event sponsorship disputes, and have advised clients on antitrust matters relating to international competition and player ranking systems. We are also very effective in pre-litigation dispute resolution of matters, and regularly counsel clients to help them avoid litigation while achieving their business goals.

Our sports practice draws on the extensive breadth of experience and talent of Davis & Gilbert’s litigators, who are seasoned trial and appellate attorneys that have handled all types of cases throughout the United States.

EMPLOYMENT AND BENEFITS
To attract, retain, and reward key employees, employers in the sports industry, like any other sector, need tools and strategies for analyzing, planning, designing, implementing and communicating tax-advantaged benefit plans. Davis & Gilbert successfully helps a wide range of sports clients in developing cost-effective benefit and compensation programs that support the company’s objectives and help drive growth. Furthermore, we review existing benefit and compensation programs and suggest alternative strategies that afford greater cost leverage and compliance comfort.

Based on the ever-changing employment law landscape, our lawyers encourage sports employers to shelter themselves from potential liability and litigation by implementing employer/employee education, adopting vetted employment policies and procedures, documenting personnel actions, and retaining good records. Our attorneys work hand-in-hand with our clients to establish and maintain regulatory compliance with respect to all areas of employment law including discrimination, sexual harassment and wage and hour issues. We understand the business needs of our clients and craft solutions that work from legal, operational and practical standpoints, particularly in handling daily labor and employment issues. When disputes do arise, we draw on the deep experience of our litigators to defend our clients in the full range of employment-related litigation, often resolving disputes out of court through arbitration and mediation.

FACILITIES AND REAL ESTATE
While stadiums and arenas may comprise some of the largest assets in the sports industry, day-to-day operations are often what define success in the sports marketplace. We are not only well-equipped to guide a client through the complex financing of a billion dollar acquisition or the development and long term leasing of facilities, but we also understand that providing valuable guidance when negotiating signage agreements, short term parking agreements, and even food vendor agreements can be equally as vital to a sports related business.

Our real estate attorneys have represented major sports leagues, minor league baseball teams, highly visible and internationally recognized sports and athletic equipment brands, national health club chains, famous sports figures, sports memorabilia vendors, and sports camps in a range of real estate transactions including leasing matters, acquisitions and developments. Our widespread representation of building owners, developers, landlords and tenants of all types of commercial properties throughout the country, combined with our extensive knowledge of the retail sector, gives us a unique perspective and a distinct ability to negotiate transactions efficiently and cost-effectively by foreseeing issues at the earliest stages and anticipating the needs of parties on both sides of a transaction.


OUR PRACTICE
Davis & Gilbert has deep experience in the many areas of law that impact the sports industry – from promotions, gaming and communications to real estate leasing and intellectual property – which provides us with the unique ability to help our clients capitalize on new opportunities by determining what strategies will be permissible in the future.

Our specific areas of experience include:

  • Marketing and Sponsorship
  • Media Rights and Entertainment
  • Trademark and Licensing
  • Social Media, Data Protection and Privacy
  • Corporate and Tax
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Employment and Benefits
  • Facilities and Real Estate

MARKETING AND SPONSORSHIP
Davis & Gilbert is known worldwide for its preeminence in marketing, promotions and communications law, and is therefore well-positioned to guide clients through the ever-expanding scope and sophistication of sports marketing. The firm’s attorneys are regularly called upon by sports industry clients to review concepts, content, and the traditional and digital ways in which messages are disseminated and promoted. Our experience extends to such cutting-edge areas as the FTC guidelines for marketers dealing with bloggers and celebrity endorsements, with a particular focus on endorsement and testimonial issues in the social media arena. We assist clients with digital rights, product placement, behavioral and interactive advertising and mobile marketing. We are well-versed on all kinds of promotional activities, including fantasy sports, sweepstakes, skill contests, user generated content, charitable promotions (including commercial co-venturer arrangements), tie-ins and cutting-edge marketing techniques such as mobile, social media, viral, and guerilla.

In addition, Davis & Gilbert’s attorneys have vast experience guiding clients through the ever-changing landscape of sports sponsorships. We regularly negotiate sponsorship agreements for each of the four major team sports (NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL), NASCAR, and the USOC, as well as custom sporting events such as extreme sports and ice skating competitions. Working closely with our clients allows us to identify in advance the issues of greatest concern to them, whether competitive, reputational or liability focused.

MEDIA RIGHTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
With a dynamic and diverse sports media market as a backdrop, global media companies, established sports leagues and emerging sports organizations all turn to Davis & Gilbert for the firm’s unique and holistic view of the rapidly evolving sports media landscape. Drawing upon the breadth and depth of our entertainment and digital media practices, Davis & Gilbert guides its clients through all aspects of a media rights transaction, whether it be the challenges of exporting a league to international markets, identifying new media opportunities for traditional media rights players, or structuring innovative deals for clients in emerging sports to maximize exposure across traditional and digital media and create viable models for long lasting success.

In addition, the blurring of traditional lines between sports and entertainment has created new opportunities for participants in the sports industry, and Davis & Gilbert regularly helps clients capitalize on their entertainment ventures. We negotiate agreements for the creation and production of sports awards shows, as well as halftime and other sports-related performances. We also guide our sports clients as well as producers on the development, production, distribution and financing of sports-themed movies, television programs and other content.

TRADEMARKS AND LICENSING
Davis & Gilbert brings leading-edge intellectual property experience and knowledge to our sports practice, often addressing novel issues in the most sophisticated ways. We handle issues relating to the creation and use of intellectual property in the sports arena, including all aspects of domestic and international trademark prosecution, management and protection, as well as the licensing of these properties, on behalf of teams, governing bodies and other licensors as well as sponsors, marketers and other sports industry licensees. Our longstanding relationships with our clients enable us to resolve usage problems before they become litigation claims. However, when IP issues do require litigation, Davis & Gilbert has the resources and experience to handle complex intellectual property cases throughout the country.

Many of our sports clients engage in non-traditional marketing tactics such as viral marketing, word-of-mouth and email campaigns surrounding major U.S. and international sporting events, including the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the World Cup and others. These strategies can involve a complex array of legal and regulatory issues that our IP attorneys are well qualified to address. In these situations, we work with clients to ensure proper use of their own and third-party trademarks as well as compliance with statutory and regulatory rules and standards.

SOCIAL MEDIA, DATA PROTECTION AND PRIVACY
Social media has a tremendous impact on the sports industry, and our digital media attorneys are at the forefront of developments in this area. We work closely with our clients to provide advice, protocols and contracts that implicate new and social media, especially the application of marketing laws to online activities (such as virtual marketing, blogs and mobile apps) and use of electronic devices (such as tablets and smart phones). We advise sports industry clients on all aspects of advertising and marketing on social media and in developing their social media pages and applications. We also assist with policies for use of social media by athletes and other employees, including compliance with the FTC’s updated online advertising disclosure guidelines (the Dot Com Disclosures). We work with many clients on preparing social media guidelines that respect intellectual property, confidentiality and accuracy of the content being disseminated.

Moreover, the modern sports industry derives much of its strength and popularity from the deep bonds with fans, which are reflected in the vast amounts of personal data that fans provide to teams, leagues and sports marketers. Our attorneys are extremely well-versed in the data protection and privacy issues facing all businesses – both online and offline – in their management, use and handling of data. We advise clients on privacy laws and issues that include COPPA, GLB, HIPAA, ECPA, security breach notification laws, consumer disclosures, transborder data transfers, internal security practices and any other risks or threats that involve data security concerns.

CORPORATE AND TAX
Our corporate attorneys provide a comprehensive spectrum of informed and innovative transactional, entrepreneurial and general corporate and tax advisory services to a full range of sports organizations. We work with clients on many complex and high-profile transactions while simultaneously attending to day-to-day legal needs, advising them on changes and developments in relevant laws.

We represent sports clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, equity and debt financing, recapitalizations, and a range of commercial agreements. We also provide tax advice in connection with the structuring of all types of corporate transactions, as well as tax-free reorganizations, taxable asset and stock purchases, spin-offs, financings, corporate recapitalizations and debt restructurings. A significant portion of our practice focuses on representing private equity investors on their acquisitions and investments in sports teams.

LITIGATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Davis & Gilbert’s litigation practice handles a full spectrum of commercial matters affecting the sports industry, including contract and licensing disputes, employment issues, restrictive covenants, trademark and copyright infringement, false advertising, unfair competition, domain name protection, among many other types of disputes. We work with our sports industry clients to forcefully pursue and defend claims to help protect their interests, and we have an impressive track record of handling complex cases that require both an aggressive and creative approach. We have represented clients in international licensing and event sponsorship disputes, and have advised clients on antitrust matters relating to international competition and player ranking systems. We are also very effective in pre-litigation dispute resolution of matters, and regularly counsel clients to help them avoid litigation while achieving their business goals.

Our sports practice draws on the extensive breadth of experience and talent of Davis & Gilbert’s litigators, who are seasoned trial and appellate attorneys that have handled all types of cases throughout the United States.

EMPLOYMENT AND BENEFITS
To attract, retain, and reward key employees, employers in the sports industry, like any other sector, need tools and strategies for analyzing, planning, designing, implementing and communicating tax-advantaged benefit plans. Davis & Gilbert successfully helps a wide range of sports clients in developing cost-effective benefit and compensation programs that support the company’s objectives and help drive growth. Furthermore, we review existing benefit and compensation programs and suggest alternative strategies that afford greater cost leverage and compliance comfort.

Based on the ever-changing employment law landscape, our lawyers encourage sports employers to shelter themselves from potential liability and litigation by implementing employer/employee education, adopting vetted employment policies and procedures, documenting personnel actions, and retaining good records. Our attorneys work hand-in-hand with our clients to establish and maintain regulatory compliance with respect to all areas of employment law including discrimination, sexual harassment and wage and hour issues. We understand the business needs of our clients and craft solutions that work from legal, operational and practical standpoints, particularly in handling daily labor and employment issues. When disputes do arise, we draw on the deep experience of our litigators to defend our clients in the full range of employment-related litigation, often resolving disputes out of court through arbitration and mediation.

FACILITIES AND REAL ESTATE
While stadiums and arenas may comprise some of the largest assets in the sports industry, day-to-day operations are often what define success in the sports marketplace. We are not only well-equipped to guide a client through the complex financing of a billion dollar acquisition or the development and long term leasing of facilities, but we also understand that providing valuable guidance when negotiating signage agreements, short term parking agreements, and even food vendor agreements can be equally as vital to a sports related business.

Our real estate attorneys have represented major sports leagues, minor league baseball teams, highly visible and internationally recognized sports and athletic equipment brands, national health club chains, famous sports figures, sports memorabilia vendors, and sports camps in a range of real estate transactions including leasing matters, acquisitions and developments. Our widespread representation of building owners, developers, landlords and tenants of all types of commercial properties throughout the country, combined with our extensive knowledge of the retail sector, gives us a unique perspective and a distinct ability to negotiate transactions efficiently and cost-effectively by foreseeing issues at the earliest stages and anticipating the needs of parties on both sides of a transaction.