Sports Law Matters

Among the representations handled by Fox attorneys are:

Licensing

  • Negotiated the necessary contracts and licensing agreements with bid teams from London; Paris and Limerick, Ireland to bring Gay Games X to Paris in 2018.
  • Served as counsel to both the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and its D-League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. As the team’s primary attorneys, we have advised on:
    • Ticket sales and game promotion programs across multiple media platforms
    • Fan loyalty programs
    • Corporate sponsorships
    • Strategic brand-building partnerships and initiatives
  • On behalf of two NHL franchises, a Major League Lacrosse franchise and several Minor League Baseball franchises, negotiated numerous television and radio contracts and handled various licensing work.
  • Representation of a company specializing in the promotion of mixed martial arts in negotiating a nonexclusive license agreement in the bankruptcy of a sports nutrition and supplement company.

Sponsorships and Partnerships

  • Served as regulatory counsel to both the Philadelphia 76ers and the National Hockey League (NHL) franchise, the New Jersey Devils, in a deal with partypoker.com to become the first major U.S. professional sports teams to execute an online gaming sponsorship.
  • Represented a professional soccer franchise and negotiating a sponsorship agreement with an international soccer franchise
  • Negotiated and drafted numerous foundational sponsorship agreements, including naming rights agreements, for MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL and MiLB facilities.

Litigation

  • Represented the plaintiff – the owner of a sports franchise – alleging antitrust violations against the league. Client alleged that the defendants, along with the member clubs of the league, had become an illegal cartel and had engaged in a conspiracy to unreasonably restrain trade.
  • On behalf of Dirt Motor Sports, the major sanctioning body of dirt track racing, obtained summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and secured the dismissal of an antitrust complaint seeking in excess of $90 million in damages plus significant non-monetary relief that went to the core of the client’s business. Also successfully defended the result before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which affirmed the summary judgment.
  • Representation of officers and directors of one of the largest manufacturers of home exercise sports equipment in an adversary action in bankruptcy court.
  • Successful representation to verdict in favor of a landscape maintenance organization with respect to a breach of contract matter concerning the design and construction of a golf course and preserve.
  • Litigating sports media disputes, including an advertising dispute for a national broadcast network during its coverage of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games;
  • Litigating a dispute over broadcast rights between national cable sports networks concerning a NASCAR race;
  • Litigating products liability actions concerning sports equipment companies and premises liability actions concerning various sports and entertainment venues;
  • Litigating disputes concerning player movement between competing professional leagues

Real Estate and Zoning

  • Represented the City of Philadelphia and its economic development authority in connection with the expansion of the city’s sports complex, handling coordination with the state government, financing, leasing, environmental matters, insurance and all other aspects of the development. Served as lead attorney in the land assemblage and lease negotiations, which resulted in the development of Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field, and the respective occupancy by the Philadelphia Phillies and the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Represented a developer in the approval of a memorandum of understanding for a proposed Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in the Bay Area.
  • Negotiated and drafted agreements relating to the development of multiple stadiums and arenas in major and minor professional sports leagues. Clients have included teams, leagues and public entities. Established development deal parameters, negotiated and drafted facility use and management agreements and implemented basic business infrastructure agreements required for ongoing operations and financial management.
  • Negotiated the terms of an economic development grant package in support of a $60 million downtown Charlotte baseball stadium project.
  • Representing key team of developers in the initial development stage of a large-scale sports arena and hall of fame for an international sports organization. Liaise with U.S. and European government officials, identify potential funders and make introductions to key stakeholders.
  • Represented land owners whose properties were sold or condemned during construction of two Philadelphia sports stadiums: Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a national country club operator against allegations that the golf course failed to construct and properly maintain its irrigation drains resulting in flooding to downstream property.
  • Represented mixed-use residential community developers and developers of golf courses and surrounding course communities.
  • Served as primary legal counsel for all aspects of development of PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, home arena for the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL) and NC State University’s Men’s Basketball program, as well as the premier entertainment venue in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina.
  • Served as counsel to the NBA, and ultimately to the Charlotte Hornets (NBA), for all aspects of development of Spectrum Center in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina.

Intellectual Property and Trademarks

  • Represented the buyers of four NHL and one NBA franchise acquisitions in related IP due diligence.
  • Reviewed and revised intellectual property-related provisions of agreements and managed trademark portfolio for NHL team.
  • Represented several professional athletes in matters addressing infringement of the players’ rights of publicity and trademarks as well as negotiated endorsement contracts, apparel licensing agreements and restaurant naming deals.
  • Served as global general counsel to group of major sporting goods companies. Handled antitrust, IP and litigation matters; managing a worldwide portfolio of thousands of patents, trademarks and copyrights; advising on endorsement agreements for dozens of professional players; and arranging worldwide license agreements with The Walt Disney Company and others for apparel, footwear, racket sports and golf equipment.
  • Advised an Ivy League college in connection with IP litigation and rights enforcement, including for its team logos.
  • Represented a company that designed sports motion-tracking technology and simulation software for entertainment and training in IP and general corporate matters.
  • Serve as IP counsel for world-renowned PGA Tour golf course.
  • Prosecuted multiple patent applications on behalf of Prince, Inc. for composite sports equipment such as tennis rackets, hockey sticks, baseball bats, golf clubs, fishing rods and archery bows.

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Represented RDC Golf Group in the acquisition and financing (with Textron Financial Services) of the Blue Heron Golf Course (the East Course) in Galloway Township and handled the lease by RDC of the West Course.
  • Represented RDC Golf Group in connection with the acquisition and financing of Shackamaxon Golf and Country Club.
  • Represented a large orthopedic, sports medicine and pain management group in the sale of its stock to a hospital and the organization of a hospital-owned entity that the physicians continue to manage on a day-to-day basis.
  • Assisted in the $31 million sale of a casino hotel, spa and golf course in Nevada for publicly traded seller, with water rights and golf course lease issues.
  • Purchase of 800-room casino hotel and spa in Mesquite, Nevada, and an 18-hole golf course in Mohave County, Arizona, including private well and water rights, residential development rights and timeshare interests; $80 million combined bank financing for all client affiliates.
  • Represented a U.S.-based surf board retailer as target in acquisition by an Australian surf clothing and accessories retailer.

Other Matters

  • Represented a target corporation and key equity holders of a global sports car racing series with assets, including intellectual property, real estate and other key holdings, in its acquisition by an international competitor.
  • Represented a provider of youth amateur sports leagues and camps in the organization of its franchise system and preparation of its franchise disclosure documents and agreements.
  • Represented a national golf course developer and general contractor in obtaining judgment (for total claim and penalty interest) in favor of the contractor in a mechanic’s lien action.
  • Prevailed at arbitration and recovered executive severance package for former president of global golf resort development company following former president’s wrongful termination.
  • Representation of a bicycle company in a case against a competing exercise equipment company.
  • Obtaining early dismissal of a million-dollar federal court case filed against the family of a well-known Philadelphia sports icon.
  • Serve as counsel to the Atlantic Coast Conference and various individual colleges
  • Represent professional athletes and their agents in matters ranging from contract negotiations for professional football and baseball players to athlete/agent disputes with the NFL
  • Advise sports clients on various tax and estate planning issues, including individual athletes and coaches facing personal estate planning and taxation issues (including tax issues related to playing abroad), and another client on issues concerning the taxation of a non-profit sports association.
  • Assisted an agent for NASCAR drivers (top series) in the negotiation and drafting of driver and related agreements with a racing team.