Straight Talk About Sports and Entertainment Law
Andrews Kurth relies on a cross-discipline approach to advising our sports and entertainment clients, pooling our vast resources in 11 locations, multiple jurisdictions, and the full range of related practice and industry specialties, including all aspects of corporate law, public finance and regulatory law, traditional and project finance, private equity and fund formation, real estate, tax, antitrust, intellectual property, labor, employment and immigration, bankruptcy and distressed assets, and business litigation.
Whether advising on the acquisition or disposition of professional sports franchises or the development, growth and infrastructure of venues and related associations, or working with individual athletes, coaches, administrators and executives on their career trajectory, we have the breadth and depth of experience required to seamlessly and strategically address the myriad of legal considerations involved in the complex business of sports law. Our practice includes:
- Sports and Recreation
- Construction and Venue Development
- Public and Private Governing Bodies
- Brand Protection, Merchandising and Distribution
How We Help Our Clients
Andrews Kurth has represented individual athletes, performers, multinational entertainment companies, sports franchises, public sports authorities and other governmental entities and private developers with practical counsel that protects their interests. Our sports and entertainment lawyers work closely with firm-wide colleagues practicing in corporate, intellectual property, labor, public finance, construction, hospitality and real estate law to tailor solutions to clients’ specific concerns.
- Our attorneys represent professional sports franchises in all aspects of their business, including the acquisition and disposition of majority interests in professional sports franchises and the structuring and governance of such franchises, including in connection with league matters for those franchises. Clients include both corporate and individual investors, family offices, and private equity funds, fund advisers, developers, and acquirers of portfolios of distressed notes or properties.
- We represent governmental entities and private developers in connection with the construction, development and financing of sports stadiums, including drafting and negotiating development agreements, construction contracts, team leases and management and operating agreements.
- We advise, negotiate, draft and enforce contracts and agreements that protect and promote our clients’ interests, including arena lease and management agreements; franchise finance agreements; equity agreements; agency, management and player contracts; celebrity endorsement agreements; branding, merchandising and licensing agreements; royalty agreements; and many more.
- We advise on the structure and formation of new business ventures, the development, acquisition and disposition of business ventures and assets, franchising agreements, and the negotiating of related deals and multi-jurisdictional business transactions.
- We represent major franchises and universities in connection with the structure and implementation of their front office organization, drafting and implementation of athlete policies and procedures, and compliance with evolving league regulations.
- We advise organizations and individuals in connection with the labyrinth of regulations involved in individual sports, including professional and amateur golf and tennis. As part of our practice, Andrews Kurth serves as outside counsel to the United States Tennis Association.
- We represent major colleges and universities in connection with NCAA eligibility issues and represent both institutions and student athletes under investigation in connection with alleged violations of NCAA regulations.
- We structure complex sponsorship and endorsement agreements, including advice in regards to the athlete’s obligation to use, wear or promote products or services; select, try and approve specific products; negotiate compensation and protection for both parties in the event of injury or disruption; and negotiate contract terms such as morals clauses, force majeure provisions, termination rights, liquidated damages provisions, and rights of termination.
- We counsel individuals in the negotiation of employment contracts and benefits arrangements and provide counsel on estate planning, tax and wealth management matters.
- We counsel major manufacturers of athletic footwear, apparel and equipment on innovative and exclusive licensing transactions and negotiate exclusive licensing contracts and marketing agreements with major professional franchises and collegiate athletic conferences and universities.
Andrews Kurth represents all varieties of sports organizations, associations, franchises and teams, sports management and promotional companies, and the athletes, coaches and executives comprising the teams, staff and back office management. We also represent the investor groups, financial institutions, private equity funds, family offices, and related parties to the sale and purchase of teams or franchises, and the financing of teams, tournaments or large-scale special events.
We represent performing artists, producers, production companies, broadcasters, Internet and technology companies, and publishers. Our clients work in a wide range of media, including motion pictures, music, broadcast and cable television. Andrews Kurth lawyers advise a number of companies in new media fields, including Internet and multimedia ventures, online gaming and entertainment software.
From project inception and financing through construction and operation agreements, Andrews Kurth provides top-to-bottom counsel to management companies and public authorities that develop and operate sports stadiums and similar facilities. For example, we have represented the Harris County - Houston Sports Authority in the development, construction and financing of Reliant Stadium, Minute Maid Park, the Toyota Center and BBVA Compass Stadium. We also represented the City of Sugar Land, Texas in the construction, development and financing of Constellation Field and the City of Cedar Park, Texas with regards to the construction, development and financing of Cedar Park Center.
In addition, our lawyers are skilled at handling the transactional details of stadium operations involving:
- Event licensing and production
- Facility management
- Operations and maintenance
- Sponsorship and marketing
Andrews Kurth has a nationally recognized public law practice with a well-earned reputation for managing the complex mix of public and private financing often required to complete sports facility projects. We have an in-depth understanding of the regulations that govern contracting with local, state and federal governments and routinely handle all aspects of public and private financing, contracting and litigation. We have been on both sides of representations dealing with state and local governments, authorities and other agencies in the issuances of revenue or general obligation bonds for financing the development, construction and operation of all types of capital projects. In our representation of local government entities, we serve as outside general counsel to the Harris County - Houston Sports Authority.
Andrews Kurth’s intellectual property lawyers work with our sports and entertainment clients from the outset to register and protect trademarks, ensure brands are established as revenue-generating assets, protect and maximize the value of trademarks and copyrighted works, and manage the legal issues involved in creating, distributing or using all manner of marks, merchandise and original content. We also help organizations and its athletes and entertainers develop, structure and execute licensing strategies and agreements and maximize such licensing opportunities so as to result in more than just an extra revenue stream.
We represent corporations, media companies, celebrities and others. We counsel them on extending and safeguarding their brands through licensing, sponsorship and endorsements of events, products, services and websites. With the global reach of the entertainment business, our lawyers also regularly create international joint ventures to distribute varied entertainment content and products.
Our IP counseling and litigation experience includes sports and entertainment related copyrights and trademarks, rights of publicity, and protection of celebrities and their estates. We also have a wealth of experience representing broadcasters and publishers in issues involving music and film rights, literary works and game designs.
- Class Action Litigation
- Commercial Litigation
- Copyright Litigation
- Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
- Executive Compensation/Employee Benefits
- Exempt Organizations
- Intellectual Property and Technology
- IP Counseling and Licensing
- Labor and Employment
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution
- Patent Litigation
- Patent Prosecution
- Patent Trial and Appeal Board Proceedings
- Public Finance
- Public Law
- Public-Private Partnerships (P3s)
- Real Estate
- Securing and Maintaining Trademarks and Brand Names
- Trade Secret/Trade Dress Litigation
- Trade Secrets/Trade Dress
- Trademark Proceedings and Litigation
Recognized as a Recommended Trademark (Contentious) Practice in the United States, IP Stars
Recognized as a Recommended Trademark Prosecution Practice in the United States, IP Stars
Recognized as a Leading Enforcement & Litigation Trademark practice in New York, 2017 WTR 1000
Recognized as a Leading Enforcement & Litigation Trademark practice in Washington, DC, 2017 WTR 1000
Recognized as a Leading Prosecution & Strategy Trademark practice in New York, 2017 WTR 1000
- 1/26/2017Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP Selected as Counsel to Las Vegas Stadium Authority
- 1/13/2004Dallas County Names Andrews Kurth for Stadium Negotiations With Cowboys
- 3/13/2001Andrews & Kurth Adds Public Finance and Public Law Practice, 5 Partners Join Houston Office
- The Texas Lawbook – General Counsel Pro Sports CLEAugust 31, 2016
- Sometimes Two Meetings Aren’t Better than None: The Texas Supreme Court Clarifies the Circumstances Giving Rise to Personal JurisdictionApril 7, 2017
- The Supreme Court Holds that Laches Can No Longer Be Used as a Defense Against Damages Claims in Patent Cases Brought within the Patent Act’s Six-Year Limitations PeriodMarch 24, 2017
- Give Me a ©!: Supreme Court Holds that Copyright Protects Decorative Elements of Useful ArticlesMarch 24, 2017
- Special Reporting Requirements Regarding Exercises of Incentive Stock Options and Transfers of Stock Acquired under Employee Stock Purchase Plans (2017 Update)January 11, 2017
- State and Local Governments Grapple with Challenges of New Limits on Antitrust State Action ImmunityDecember 1, 2016