Kevin Sweeney has more than 35 years of experience leading complex financial, business, and strategic transactions for major business clients, primarily in the amateur sports and life sciences industries. He serves as a legal advisor to his client’s C-Level executives and boards of directors, providing business-oriented advice backed-up by deep industry contacts and knowledge as an integral part of helping his clients achieve their business, financial and strategic goals.
Sports Industry Practice
Since the mid- 1980s, Kevin has advised major collegiate sports conferences and other organizations in the sports industry, helping guide the legal strategy for amateur sports in the U.S. As Chair of Polsinelli’s Sports Industry Group, he has assisted conferences through:
- Negotiation of billions of dollars of media agreements
- Threats and opportunities of conference realignment
- Ongoing redefinition of the relationship between the NCAA and its members
- Legal challenges to the amateur sports model, including antitrust, NLRA, FLSA, personal injury, athlete “name, image and likeness” rights, nonprofit taxation and federal and state public policy fronts.
Kevin also has represented a number of post-season collegiate football games in their formation, operation and sale; a national high school sports organization in the formation and financing of the first national digital outlet for disturbing of telecasts high school championship sporting events and several sports entities in managing their executive search and CEO transition processes and negotiations.
Using his broad and deep long-time contacts in the sports industry to keep ahead of breaking developments, Kevin routinely coordinates with legal counsel of other conferences and universities, and is a frequent speaker at national sports conferences, including the annual Sports Lawyers Association convention.
The complex legal issues raised by his clients’ sports businesses require Kevin to coordinate with firm attorneys across many other disciplines, including complex antitrust, personal injury and labor and employment litigators (including in complex MDL and class actions), intellectual property rights, nonprofit tax, federal and state public policy legislative initiatives, real estate development, insurance, governmental and internal investigations and corporate finance and transactional matters.
Life Science Industry Practice
Kevin also represents emerging, growth and established for-profit companies and nonprofit entities in the life science industry, primarily in human health and animal health areas, including medical devices, drugs and therapeutics and diagnostics. He provides strategic and proactive “life cycle” advise to life science clients related to optimizing corporate structures, throughout their early stage, institutional venture capital financing and growth equity and debt financing stages, to their “exit” transactions, including merger and acquisition, joint venture and licensing transactions and preparing companies for IPOs.
He maintains his deep industry contacts by serving on a number of boards and organizations in the life science community, including his current role as Chair of the Board of BioKanas, the national BIO affiliate in the state of Kansas (for which he has also served as chair of its Public Policy committee among other roles).
Chambers USA, the world's leading guide to the legal profession, has included Kevin in its rankings for the past several years, most recently in 2021. In interviews with clients during research for the rankings, the following remarks were made regarding Kevin's work at the firm:
- "Sources say he is 'bright, intelligent and leaves no stone unturned when dealing with large, complex transactions.'"
- "Sources praise 'the ease and speed in which he identifies core issues.'"
- "An impressive negotiator who is said to 'always strive to get the best outcome for his clients.'"
- "Clients have been effusive in their praise of Kevin Sweeney, lauding him as 'superior on strategy' and a formidable force around the negotiating table."
- "His work is described as 'very focused and detail-oriented,' yet retaining 'uncanny creativity.'"