Polsinelli’s Sports Industry Group represents a wide variety of "players" in the professional and amateur sports arena. While some firms may concentrate on a particular service within the sports industry, Polsinelli’s national sports practice draws from more than 15 multidisciplinary areas.
Our Corporate and Real Estate attorneys advise clients at every level of this dynamic industry. Supporting teams, leagues, conferences, owners and the businesses that assist each, we help clients:
- Finance real estate acquisition
- Build cutting-edge stadiums and arenas
- Negotiate personnel and venue and sponsorship agreements that drive athletic enterprise operations
- Structure billions of dollars in cutting-edge media agreements that bring live sporting events to living rooms and mobile devices around the world
- Equity and other investments
Our litigators further represent sporting clients in complex national litigation, including antitrust and personal injury class actions, defending existential challenges to the very existence of sports enterprises.
Harnessing the experience of our Public Policy attorneys, we help advance the policy interests of our sports clients with national and state legislatures and city and county governments.
Hailing from offices across the country, our team creates and connects a national network of relationships in the sports industry, including long-standing national contacts with sports media companies and consultants, experts in emerging sports technology, and professors, private equity firms, and thought leaders in the sports media and national sports industry.
We represent clients across sports industry verticals including:
- Collegiate and amateur conferences, athletic departments and associations
- Professional teams, franchises, leagues and their owners
- Facilities operations, including stadiums, other sports-related facilities and their investment activities
- Private equity firms, strategic buyers, and target companies across a range of industries, including sports, entertainment, retail, media, and technology in the structuring and negotiations of mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, carve-outs and leveraged buyouts
- Public and private companies in connection with team sponsorships, athletic event and venue partnerships, individual endorsement relationships and technology licensing
- Sports equipment manufacturers, retail brands, apparel companies, athletic event operators, sports television broadcast networks, multi-media rights organizations and sports technology entities
- Professional and amateur coaches, broadcasters, athletic administrators and sports executives
We advise clients on a range of opportunities to advance their objectives, including:
- Advising professional sports leagues regarding strategic relationships with corporate sponsors, co-investors, franchise owners, private equity institutions, foreign entities and broadcast partners
- Representing sellers of aggregated media rights, such as collegiate, high school, and other amateur sports organizations, in multi-billion dollar media transactions and in preparing to take advantage of the emerging digital media distribution landscape
- Leading the defense of conferences and other organizations in massive complex class action litigation, arbitration and mediation, including antitrust, concussion personal injury, conference membership realignment and other “bet the industry” legal challenges
- Counseling national-level sports organizations on government and construction incentives in relation to stadium development
- Conducting defense in employment litigation and negotiations with the National Football League Players Association
- Structuring the protection and strategic licensing programs related to trademarks and other intellectual property
- Conducting internal investigation for sports-related organizations, both prospectively and following alleged wrongdoing
- Providing advice to owners regarding the purchase and sale of professional franchise equity stakes
- Counseling sports organization on “risk mitigation” strategies relating to antitrust, FLSA, NLRB, labor and employment issues
- Establishing, adopting, maintaining and improving client’s anti-corruption policies and procedures