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.
You can view our latest 2 Sport blog posts below and our full blog here.
Sports Q&A: How is AI being utilised in Sport?30 May 2023
The use of data in sport is a well-established practice: sports teams, institutions, and governing bodies have a long history of leveraging data science to enhance the performance of athletes and players, with the goal of achieving a competitive advantage and improving the quality of the game.
Company’s register of people with significant control (PSCs)22 March 2023
Most UK companies and LLPs are required to find out and record details of the individuals or legal entities that have significant beneficial ownership or control over them. The information must be recorded in the company’s register of people with significant control (PSC register) as part of its statutory books.
‘Landmark moment’ or ‘PR exercise?’ What football thinks of new independent regulator: John Shea comments for The Athletic07 March 2023
The UK government has announced plans for an independent regulator of English football aimed to better test potential new owners, ensure clubs are run sustainably and stop sides from joining breakaway leagues. John Shea provides insight into what this means for the industry.
What Sponsors can learn from the 2022 World Cup beer fiasco: JJ Shaw writes for LawInSport07 March 2023
Following the 2022 World Cup beer fiasco, JJ Shaw looks at the different methods that sponsoring entities can implement in order to protect their interests.
The new FIFA football agent regulations – What you need to know06 January 2023
After much controversy and debate, the new FIFA Football Agent Regulations were finally approved by the FIFA Council on 16 December 2022 and will come into force on 9 January 2023 with the aim of reinforcing contractual stability, protecting the integrity of the transfer system and achieving greater financial transparency.
Sports Q&A: What is a DAO and how are they relevant to sport?26 September 2022
Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) are a creature of Web3. The theory goes that they are membership-led bodies, which can operate as decentralised corporations in the digital, blockchain-supported world, independent of real world regulation. The paradigm DAO is transparent and self-governing without outside government interference and no power held by any executive or management board. The reality is, currently, somewhat different (see further below).