Sports

Jackson Walker’s sports attorneys have played an important role in shaping the sports industry. Members of our award winning team are regularly recognized by U.S. News–Best Lawyers® as some of the leading sports lawyers in the country.  We offer clients first-hand knowledge of the complex facets of the industry and a commitment to roll up our sleeves and work side by side with them to evaluate opportunities, identify potential issues, and plot strategies for the future.

Our broad roster of clients spans the spectrum of the sports sector, including:

  • Professional, Olympic, collegiate, and high school athletes
  • Collegiate and professional sports teams and their owners
  • Sports franchises and governing bodies
  • Olympic organizations
  • Sports facilities
  • Investor syndicates

We routinely counsel sports clients on a wide variety of legal matters that focus on:

  • Player eligibility, discipline, anti-doping measures, defamation, and gender issues
  • Contracts, endorsements, and sponsorship deals
  • Investments in professional teams and clubs
  • Intellectual property including trademark and copyright licenses, purchases, and consent agreements
  • Media, content distribution, syndication, and rights negotiations
  • Civil litigation, including defense of injuries on the playing field and advocacy of the sports activity doctrine
  • Negotiation of sports facilities
  • Counseling of privacy, wealth management, and tax planning
  • Immigration

Jackson Walker’s deep roots within the business of sports offers clients a perspective from various angles within the industry.  This is further highlighted by leadership roles within national and international sports governing bodies, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and other highly regarded sports organizations.

  • Preparation and negotiation of various industry agreements
  • Preparation and negotiation of sponsorship and athlete endorsement deals
  • Intellectual property rights management issues for athletes and sports teams, including copyright, trademark, and right of publicity
  • Sports industry dispute resolution, including sports contract disputes, intellectual property disputes, and right to compete grievances

February 8, 2021
Mentions

Will Texas Punt Again On Legalizing Daily Fantasy Sports? | CBS 11 Dallas/Fort Worth

Are daily fantasy sports legal in Texas? “The issue is murky,” said Jackson Walker partner Bob Latham, who was named DFW Sports Lawyer of the Year. “It comes down to what you think a daily fantasy sports league is. Where do you draw the line between skill and chance? Most lawyers could probably make the argument on both sides.”

December 24, 2020
Insights

2020*: An Unusual Year Sparks Debate Over Which Victories Were Legitimate | SportsTravel Winners & Losers

By Bob Latham | On December 2, the No. 8-ranked Michigan State basketball team traveled to Durham, North Carolina, to play No. 6-ranked Duke at fan-less Cameron Indoor.

October 19, 2020
Insights

Here We Are Now, Entertain Us | SportsTravel Winners & Losers

By Bob Latham | “While professional athletes are paid to perform, we sometimes forget the sacrifices they make to allow us a feeling of normalcy,” Bob Latham writes in this Winners & Losers column published in SportsTravel magazine.

September 22, 2020
Attorney News

Bob Latham Re-Elected to World Rugby’s Executive and Regulations Committees

Jackson Walker congratulates Bob Latham on his re-election to another four-year term on the World Rugby Executive Committee, on which he has served as a member since 2011. In addition, Bob was reconfirmed as Chair of the Regulations Committee, a position he has held since 2012.

Nate St Clair with Jackson Walker logo

August 25, 2020
Attorney News

Nate St. Clair Joins National Sports Law Institute’s Board of Advisors

Nate St. Clair has been invited to serve on the Board of Advisors of the National Sports Law Institute, an affiliate of the Sports Law program of his law school alma mater, Marquette University.

June 15, 2020
Insights

Appreciating Sports Through the Classics | SportsTravel Winners & Losers

“As live sports slowly come back, I will again be cheering from my couch and seeking to affect the outcome with my fandom. But I also hope that my 9½ weeks in the sports Wayback Machine has trained me to know that it is just as rewarding to appreciate every nuance of the performance as it is to celebrate or mourn the result.”

April 13, 2020
Mentions

XFL Files Bankruptcy, Owes University of Houston Nearly $300,000 | Houston Chronicle

Bruce Ruzinsky shares how XFL bankruptcy filing gives unsecured creditors such as the University of Houston and Roughnecks coach June Jones the opportunity to negotiate with debtors to reach compromises on the value of stadium leases and employment contracts. In the article, he notes, “If they reach agreement, the contracts can be modified, which results in accommodations that help the debtor. If the XFL wants to stay in the Houston market, I would expect to see some accommodations made.”

January 9, 2020
Insights

Sports Fantasy | SportsTravel Winners & Losers

A little-known film featuring Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano portrayed who would have won a “Super Fight”

December 2, 2019
Insights

Madame Heisman | SportsTravel Winners & Losers

Catherine Ameche Cappelletti has connections to the iconic trophy that few may ever get to experience

September 18, 2019
Attorney News

Nate St. Clair to Moderate College Athletics Panel at National Sports Law Institute Conference

As Marquette University Law School celebrates the 30th anniversary of the National Sports Law Institute, Nate St. Clair will return to his law school alma mater to moderate a panel discussion on collegiate athletics at a conference held on October 18, 2019.

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