The sports, entertainment, and recreation industries are traditionally economic powerhouses, generating millions of jobs and pouring billions of dollars into the economy each year. But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are grappling with unexpected losses in addition to rapidly shifting consumer demographics, behaviors, and lifestyles. More than ever industry participants need steady, strategic counsel to thrive in the “new normal” and conquer new terrain.
Lewis Roca meets these challenges head on. Our deep bench of highly experienced lawyers helps clients – including some of the world’s most recognized equipment and apparel manufacturers, recreation providers, and entertainment entities – navigate complex legal hurdles and achieve their business goals.
Led by Douglas B. Tumminello and Rachel Nicholas, our team brings to bear firsthand knowledge of the sports, entertainment, and outdoor recreation industries. Our lawyers include athletes and enthusiasts of all sports, from former NCAA players to ultra-marathoners, certified divers, mountain climbers, competitive cyclists, sailors, surfers, and hikers. We also write and speak for leading publications and associations on important industry issues, such as sponsorships, merchandising, licensing, and brand identity. As trusted advisors in the sports, entertainment, and recreation space, we have garnered national recognition from Martindale-Hubbell, World Trademark Review, U.S. News – Best Lawyers®, and Super Lawyers®, among others.
Lewis Roca is dedicated to protecting, defending, and maximizing our clients’ opportunities for success. Our sports, entertainment, and recreation lawyers practice in a wide range of areas – including litigation, business transactions, intellectual property, and government and regulatory – which enables us to create comprehensive legal solutions.
We offer a full suite of services to manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, retailers, institutions, venues, and creatives across these industries, including:
- Corporate transactions
- Commercial disputes and litigation
- Human resources and employee benefits
- Insurance-related issues
- Intellectual property protection, enforcement, and defense
- Licensing, sponsorship, and endorsement agreements
- Product liability claims and supply chain challenges
- International business
- Athletes. Representing athletes in trademark infringement disputes. Successful representations include a world-famous tennis player’s company in a right of publicity action against a retailer arising from retailer’s use of player’s name on footwear, as well as an iconic basketball player in an infringement claim (on behalf of whom we won summary judgment).
- Media Company. Negotiating and drafting entertainment industry agreements of every variety. Notably, we represented a Spanish-language media company in its sale to a national chain of newspapers and television stations. We also represented a private cable television and telecommunications company in numerous sales and purchases of cable television systems and its eventual sale to a national operator.
- Sports Teams. Advising entities on intellectual property issues. For a major league baseball team we provided intellectual property counseling (including trademark clearance) and patent prosecution services. We represented a major golf equipment company in general legal counseling, trademark policing and enforcement, and trademark cancellation and opposition proceedings. We also represented one of the largest U.S. universities in portfolio management, trademark clearance and prosecution, patent prosecution, trademark cancellation and opposition proceedings, and trademark policing and enforcement.
- Sports Promotion Company. Represented a sports promotion company in securing take-out financing relative to the equity sale of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization, reported as the largest transaction in sports history at $4 billion.
- Outdoor Apparel Company. Provided employment and intellectual property counseling, including patent and trademark counseling, to a well-known sheepskin and leather outdoor apparel company.
- National Ski Resort. Served as litigation counsel for a national ski resort company in business tort claims resulting from real estate development as well as another client in connection with cold weather injury claims sustained during wilderness therapy program.
- Athletic Footwear Company. Obtained ex parte seizure orders for numerous clients during a variety of trade shows in actions for trademark counterfeiting and design patent infringement. We also obtained TROs and seizure orders in an action involving infringing designs of athletic footwear during the World Shoe Association trade show.
- University Sports. Represented a large university in a hearing in front of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions related to alleged violations of NCAA rules by the university’s baseball program.
- Professional Sports Arena. Negotiated an arena lease and management agreement for the prospective purchase of a professional sports team in negotiations with municipality, drawing on our experience representing a prior bidder for the team out of bankruptcy and a negotiation of a similar arena lease for an NBA team.
- Racing Teams. Represented more than 20 professional drag racing teams in their successful unfair competition suit against the National Hot Rod Association.
- Golf Equipment Company. Represented a client in the golf accessory and equipment business in a private offering to raise capital to acquire a complementary business, which enabled our client to expand into new product markets.
- Entertainment Networks. Successful trademark dispute representations include a television network in a trademark infringement and cybersquatting action, an entertainment network in a trademark infringement dispute, a magazine publisher in a trademark infringement action, and an entertainer in trademark disputes and transactions. We also won summary judgment for trademark infringement in favor of a magic shop.
- Membership Association. Obtained numerous judgments and negotiated successful settlements on behalf of membership association of composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers for copyright infringement for unauthorized public performances of protected musical works.
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