Sports

Featured Publication:

Trademark Considerations for the NCAA’s NIL Policy [Sports Litigation Alert]

Corinne Zucker authored an article about the impact of intellectual property and the NCAA's name image and likeness rules for student athletes.

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Cozen O’Connor has a significant sports law practice and decades of collective experience in the sports law area. Our attorneys represent clients working in all sectors of the industry, including professional and amateur teams and organizations, team owners and executives, professional leagues, professional and amateur athletes, agents and agencies, venues and arena management companies, corporate sponsors, and sporting equipment manufacturers.

While many firms offer a niche sports practice, we have purposefully built a well-balanced group that provides a full range of litigation, corporate/transactional, and intellectual property services to our sports clients. Indeed, one of the great benefits of working with Cozen O’Connor is our flexibility. As a well-known trial firm, we regularly represent sports clients in their most critical litigations. At the same time, our nationally recognized corporate and intellectual property practices provide counsel on matters ranging from stadium development to trademark prosecution. And with offices throughout the United States, as well as in Canada and the U.K., Cozen O’Connor has the capability to represent industry clients from Los Angeles to London.

Beyond our mastery of the legal and regulatory aspects of the sports industry, Cozen O’Connor brings an extensive network of relationships to every engagement—and a deep appreciation for the power of relationships in this sprawling but highly connected industry. Many of our practitioners have been working on behalf of sports clients for decades, so we are often able to make introductions, foster partnerships, and identify opportunities for mutual benefit. Because of this work, Cozen O’Connor is exceptionally attuned to issues of reputation and zealously protects the public image of every client.

CLIENTS

  • Leagues and other governing bodies
  • Major and minor league franchises
  • Club owners and ownership groups
  • Coaches and team executives
  • Professional and amateur athletes
  • Players associations
  • Agents and agencies
  • Venues and arena management companies
  • Corporate sponsors
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Sports media content and technology providers

SERVICE AREAS

Litigation

  • Represent sport clients in complex commercial litigation and contract disputes
  • Handle antitrust claims for plaintiffs and defendants
  • Conduct sensitive internal investigations and lead civil, administrative, and criminal proceedings
  • Counsel and defend clients in all manner of labor and employment litigation

Corporate/Transactional

  • Serve as outside general counsel to major sports franchise and arena owners
  • Lead mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures, including team acquisitions
  • Negotiate private equity and other complex financings
  • Lead public and project finance deals; serve as bond counsel on stadium financings
  • Represent clients in major real estate transactions and sports facility development
  • Negotiate executive and player contracts
  • Advise clients on business development, media initiatives, and marketing strategies
  • Counsel clients on relevant regulations from telecommunications to tax to utilities law
  • Provide estate and tax planning to high-net worth individuals
  • Handle foundation and nonprofit formation
  • Counsel on immigration law issues

Intellectual Property

  • Conduct all forms of intellectual property litigation and dispute resolution
  • Negotiate sponsorship, endorsement, merchandising, and licensing agreements
  • Negotiate the sale or purchase of media rights, media catalogues, or name and likeness rights
  • Counsel clients on the right of publicity and right of privacy
  • Represent clients on trade secret, counterfeiting, and price discrimination issues
  • Lead trademark, copyright, and patent enforcement actions
  • Provide comprehensive portfolio management and counseling

Experience

Publications

Trademark Considerations for the NCAA’s NIL Policy [Sports Litigation Alert]

December 17, 2021

Corinne Zucker authored an article about the impact of intellectual property and the NCAA's name image and likeness rules for student athletes.

Improving the NCAA’s Regulation of Payments to Athletes

November 09, 2021

Next week, the NCAA's Board of Governors will receive recommendations for new rules and structures for regulating college sports.

COVID-Driven Commercial Litigation – What Businesses Can Expect

May 08, 2020

Adam Schlatner and Michael de Leeuw discuss potential COVID-19 related litigation, based on what is already happening and the legacy of other downturns.

Navigating Consumer Refund Demands on Account of the COVID-19 Pandemic [Alert]

May 08, 2020

Adam Schlatner and Matthew Elkin discuss the various state statutes and other issues facing sports teams, third-party ticket sellers, and other businesses that sell season passes and advance tickets.

How LSU’s Football Championship Win Challenges the NCAA [The Atlantic]

January 22, 2020

In the article, Stephen discusses the NCAA’s amateurism policies and the recent signs indicating that the Association may be moving toward a more equitable model that allows players to receive a bigger share of the wealth they create.

Sports Teams Can Deduct Full Cost of Pre-Game Meals for Traveling Employees at Hotels at Away Games [Tax Alert]

June 29, 2017

The Tax Court has allowed the owners of the Boston Bruins hockey team (a subchapter S corporation) to deduct 100 percent of the cost of pre-game meals at hotels for employees while traveling for away games.

Navigating NBA's New CBA During Misconduct Investigations [Law360]

June 09, 2017

Jeffrey Monhait and Stephen Miller discuss the new collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the NBA Players Association and review the disciplinary powers of both the teams and the league in their Law360 article, "Navigating NBA's New CBA During Misconduct Investigations."

In The News

Cozen O’Connor Appointed to Oversee Creditors’ Committee for Warrior Golf Reorganization

April 03, 2019

Warrior filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 relief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas Laredo Division to facilitate its reorganization. During this time, its custom golf business and nationwide portfolio of public courses remain open for business.

College Sports Face New Integrity Worries with Legal Betting

June 29, 2018

Stephen Miller, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Practice, is quoted Law 360 on the impact legalized sports betting has on the integrity of college sports.

Here is NFL’s chance to be better than Washington politicians in tackling anthem controversy

October 11, 2017

Adam Schlatner discusses the legal grounds to suspend or fire NFL players that are participating in the country-wide protests during the National Anthem. Players have been kneeling or raising their fists, rather than standing, during the anthem to protest the police brutality issues in the country.

Cozen O’Connor Launches Full-Service Pittsburgh Office With Three Former Leaders of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney

May 03, 2017

Cozen O’Connor has launched a full-service Pittsburgh office with three former leaders of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC: labor and employment attorney Thomas Giotto, corporate attorney Jeremy Garvey, and complex commercial and health care litigator Gene Giotto.

NHL exec Bill Daly visits Philly to talk 2018 Olympics and expansion to Las Vegas, Quebec City and Seattle

February 10, 2017

National Hockey League deputy commissioner Bill Daly came to Philadelphia on Thursday to be a keynote speaker at a sports business conference organized by local law firm Cozen O'Connor and Penn's Wharton business school.

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