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.
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).
What's the meaning of a football transfer?21 September 2022
Those involved with football transfers will be familiar with sell-on clauses given that they are widely used in the world of professional football. The purpose of a sell on clause is simple.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 - Ambush Marketing and the Law09 August 2022
The FIFA World Cup stimulates a frenzy of marketing activity – both official and unofficial. Qatar 2022 is unlikely to be any different.
Future of Sport: Women in Football and Sports Media (with Jo Tongue and Charlotte Richardson)05 August 2022
In this final episode of Season 1, JJ Shaw is joined by Jo Tongue (CEO of Tongue Tied Management and licensed FA intermediary) and Charlotte Richardson (Football commentator, match reporter and presenter) – to discuss life in the football industry and sports media.
Sports Q&A: FIFA's new football agent regulations - what do you need to know?27 June 2022
Agents are always an important topic in football and especially so at the moment as FIFA’s new football agent regulations are imminent and set to impact all stakeholders who work within the football industry. In this month’s Q&A, John Shea outlines some of the key changes being proposed in order to ensure that agents, clubs, and players are ahead of the game.