Billions of pounds are spent and made globally each year as the business of sport grows ever-more sophisticated. The interaction between athletes, agents, fans, clubs, venues and governing bodies – as well as the brands that engage with them – is intricate and ever-changing.
These relationships and the complex framework of rights and regulations which surround them are what the business of sport is built upon, requiring specialist knowledge, a strategic approach and real commercial nous on the part of legal advisers.
As one of the UK’s leading sports practices, we are not just seasoned legal experts, we have a deep and rich knowledge of the sector. Many of our team are ex-professional athletes or have worked in-house at clubs, sponsors and major events.
Our team is known for its expertise across all commercial aspects of sport including: sponsorship, merchandise licensing, ticketing and hospitality, data management and exploitation, gambling, gaming, supplier agreements and rights protection.
On top of this, our in depth understanding of the complex layering of commercial rights in sport sets us apart. We advise rights holders at all levels, and work closely with brands and their marketing agencies when investing in sports partnerships and creating sports content.
In a disrupted media environment we excel in helping sports stakeholders to deliver their content across a spectrum of traditional and digital platforms.
Our top-ranked advertising and marketing practice puts us in prime position to advise on regulatory issues as they impact sports marketing. Advising sports sponsors in heavily regulated industries such as alcohol and betting is a particular strength. We also advise on social media rules and ambush marketing on a daily basis.
On the talent side we have decades of experience negotiating deals for and with some of sports biggest stars; be it agency representation agreements, advertising campaigns or endorsements.
From negotiating global sponsorship deals, advising on player, manager and backroom staff employment issues, and implementing complex football financing deals, to advising on player transfers, sports immigration, brand protection and a wide range of commercial contracts and disputes, we bring to bear the added dimension of practical experience and in-depth insight.
That’s exactly why we act for some of the world’s biggest names in sport.
Sports Q&A - What does the CMA's latest guidance on influencers mean for athletes?15 March 2019
This month's Q&A examines the CMA’s recent guidance on the hoops which influencers need to jump through to ensure their fans are aware when their content is in fact advertising, and what this means for athletes.
JJ Shaw writes for Sportcal – AI: changing the game.12 March 2019
JJ Shaw has written an article for Sportcal where he discusses the innovative developments in Artificial Intelligence within the sports industry, the need for AI specific regulations as well as the debate around ownership and access to data.
Artificial Intelligence: The New Driving Force Behind Sports Performance and Entertainment13 February 2019
If I was to raise the topic of “artificial intelligence” in football, you’d be forgiven for thinking I was referring to Joey Barton’s decision to enrol as a philosophy student at Roehampton University back in 2013. But not so – last month it was announced that London-based non-league club, Wingate & Finchley FC, have employed football’s very first ‘AI coach’.
Sports Business Group Panel Forum: Your eSports strategy: long term future or passing fad - FULLY BOOKED12 February 2019
Barely a week goes by without an announcement of a new eSports play from a “traditional” sport. There is no doubt of eSport’s meteoric growth. But can it realistically deliver a new/younger audience for mainstream sports?
The use of mediation in sports disputes25 January 2019
With sports disputes being on the increase, it is becoming more important for parties to consider using alternative means to resolve disputes instead of the more traditional route of proceeding to arbitration or court proceedings. Mediation is commonly used to resolve commercial disputes but with sports disputes, it is not used as often despite its many benefits.
Sports Q&A - What are your top five legal tips for the transfer window?25 January 2019
Whether you’re a junior lawyer whose recently started work in a football club or are just a fan who wants to know what legal issues might be holding up a deal to get a player signed, this month's Q+A on the top five legal tips for the transfer window should be of interest.