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 - What do clubs, agents and players need to be aware of regarding payments of agents’ fees?28 April 2021
In recent years, HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) have ramped up their investigations into the tax affairs of the football industry with a particular focus on the tax treatment of agents' fees. According to research by the accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young, the number of footballers investigated by HMRC rose dramatically in the tax year 2019-20, going up from 87 to 246 individuals, and the number of investigations into the tax affairs of football agents also increased substantially, more than doubling from 23 in 2018-19 to 55 in 2019-20.
Ambush Marketing: what to watch out for ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games21 April 2021
With the approach of the Tokyo 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Games we’ll get you up to speed on the do’s and don’ts of marketing in connection with the Games, understand what is meant by ‘ambush marketing’, when Olympic themed advertising will infringe legal rights and the impact of the new rules relating to the use of Olympians by their personal sponsors.
Lewis Silkin - Governing Body Endorsements: Lessons learned and looking ahead10 March 2021
Following on from our Webinar in December we are hosting a joint webinar with James Bowles of Transfer Edge on 10 March. James will be discussing the lessons learned from the first window since the new GBE rules were implemented. The session will include how to interpret the rules to accurately calculate points and also the importance of monitoring players to ensure the correct timing of applications.
Sports Q&A - How are sports organisations dealing with athletes who breach Covid rules?06 March 2021
Sports Q&A - How are esports regulated?28 January 2021
It’s impossible to answer this question without taking a closer look at the esports ecosystem. Although there are certain parallels to draw with traditional sports (with professional players, teams, leagues and championships) there are also significant differences. In particular, the international and national federation structure as seen in traditional sports is generally absent in esports.
COVID-19 advice for corporate occupiers07 January 2021
Commercial tenants – whether occupying offices, retail premises, industrial units or other property - face potentially existential questions arising out of their landlord and tenant relations, how to manage cashflow and outgoings as revenues dry up, premises shut down and uncertainty reigns.