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 Sport blog posts below and our full blog here.
Sports Q&A: Non-competes19 October 2023
Our Q&A looks at the government's proposal on non-competes and what sports businesses should be doing about this now.
International Sportspeople, family members & visitors05 October 2023
Join us on 5 October for a webinar discussion covering visa applications for international sportspeople and their dependants.
Sports Q&A: How is AI being utilised in Sport?30 May 2023
The use of data in sport is a well-established practice: sports teams, institutions, and governing bodies have a long history of leveraging data science to enhance the performance of athletes and players, with the goal of achieving a competitive advantage and improving the quality of the game.
Company’s register of people with significant control (PSCs)22 March 2023
Most UK companies and LLPs are required to find out and record details of the individuals or legal entities that have significant beneficial ownership or control over them. The information must be recorded in the company’s register of people with significant control (PSC register) as part of its statutory books.
‘Landmark moment’ or ‘PR exercise?’ What football thinks of new independent regulator: John Shea comments for The Athletic07 March 2023
The UK government has announced plans for an independent regulator of English football aimed to better test potential new owners, ensure clubs are run sustainably and stop sides from joining breakaway leagues. John Shea provides insight into what this means for the industry.
What Sponsors can learn from the 2022 World Cup beer fiasco: JJ Shaw writes for LawInSport07 March 2023
Following the 2022 World Cup beer fiasco, JJ Shaw looks at the different methods that sponsoring entities can implement in order to protect their interests.