The National Basketball Association (“NBA”) Board of Governors has voted to permit sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and university endowments to invest in NBA teams. Major U.S. sports leagues have traditionally limited who they permit as owners of their franchises, not just for controlling general partners, but for limited partners as well, even though limited partners are traditionally passive owners with no governing rights. However, two years ago the NBA became the first major U.S. sports league to permit private equity investors, and now the league is broadening the scope of potential investors as franchise valuations continue to skyrocket. There are only so many Americans with pockets deep enough to afford franchises that are being sold for several billion dollars, and so the NBA has realized that it needs to expand the pool of possible buyers. Continue reading “NBA to Permit Sovereign Wealth Fund Investors in Franchises as Valuations Soar”
FTX’s Collapse Should Remind Sports Teams to Be Careful When Choosing Their Sponsorship Partners
The dramatic collapse last week of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX will also affect those teams, arenas and other sports companies that have naming rights and sponsorship agreements with FTX.
When a sponsorship partner undergoes a dramatic collapse like that suffered by FTX last week, sports teams that have partnered with the company for naming rights and other sponsorship agreements suffer losses on multiple fronts. First, of course, is the loss of the contractually guaranteed income that the team has taken for granted when budgeting for years to come. But beyond that is the reputational harm. Sports is about winning and losing, and no team wants to be associated with a loser. Continue reading “FTX’s Collapse Should Remind Sports Teams to Be Careful When Choosing Their Sponsorship Partners”
Duane Morris is Law360’s Sports & Betting Group Of The Year
Duane Morris LLP helped sportsbooks, teams and media giants like NBCUniversal and ESPN navigate a complex licensing and regulatory landscape to ink lucrative sports gambling deals, earning it a spot among Law360’s 2021 Sports & Betting Groups of the Year.
To read the full text of this article, please visit the Law360 website (subscription required).
The Changing Landscape Between Sports, Media and Gambling: Webinar Replay
A webinar replay is available for “The Changing Landscape Between Sports, Media and Gambling,” the third in our Game Changers: Strategies for the Business of Sports and Gaming Webinar Series with SeventySix Capital Sports Advisory.
Fiscal Year 2022 New York State Budget Approves Mobile Sports Betting
New York Governor Cuomo and state legislative leaders have reached a tentative agreement on the Fiscal Year 2022 New York State budget paving a way for mobile sports betting in the Empire State. here is a link to the Senate Bill 2509 . The General Assembly must now vote to accept the budget and additional changes may be forthcoming.
To read the full post by Duane Morris partner Frank DiGiacomo, please visit the Duane Morris Gaming Law Blog.
Behind the Scenes of Betting and Professional Sports: Webinar Replay
A video replay is available of the Game Changers: Strategies for the Business of Sports and Gaming Webinar Series session, “Behind the Scenes of Betting and Professional Sports.”
Daily Fantasy Sports to Be Legal, DFS Loser’s Gambling Loss Recovery Act Claim Rejected: Illinois Supreme Court
In Dew-Becker v. Wu, 2020 IL 124472 (April 16, 2020), the Illinois Supreme Court, finally and definitively, has put to rest the question of whether DFS (daily fantasy sports) is unlawful in Illinois. In addition, as a result of the decision, the DFS industry dodged the potential impact of tens of thousands of lawsuits that otherwise could have been lodged against winning DFS players in Illinois by DFS contest losers seeking to recoup their losses under the Illinois Loss Recovery Act (LRA)(720 ILCS 5/28-8).
To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.
Workplace Madness: Important HR Lessons from NCAA Basketball
The NCAA basketball tournament is over, and in many ways it was a classic, with great games, great upsets and great storylines. March Madness, indeed.
However, this year, much of the madness occurred off the court.
It started with the videotape of the unprofessional ranting of now-former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice, who called his players every offensive name in the book, berated them, question their very being and flung basketballs at their heads. Rice’s trail of carnage includes former Athletic Director Tim Pernetti and former University general Counsel John Wolf. It included the “resignation” of Pac-12 Director of Officials Ed Rush, who suggested to his direct reports – the referees – that they punish one of the coaches in the league that Rush doesn’t like. And it included controversy over whether Baylor University women’s superstar Britney Griner is worthy of a tryout in the all-male NBA.
Continue reading “Workplace Madness: Important HR Lessons from NCAA Basketball”
When Athletes Retire, Is the Next Step Bankruptcy or Paradise?
The “paradise” stories for the post-playing careers of professional athletes are without a doubt under told. The success of Roger Staubach in building a real estate empire, the multiple businesses of NBA all-stars Magic Johnson and Jamal Mashburn, as well as success in politics by the likes of Steve Largent and Bill Bradley, are known to some. Also, consider the Super Bowl’s most valuable player, Joe Flacco, the proud recipient of a $120.6 million contract, alongside option bonuses of $15 million and $7 million, and superstar Ray Lewis, who, in retirement, has recently joined a new team: ESPN. Let’s not leave out baseball, with Alex Rodriguez in the midst of a $275 million contract running through 2017. Then what?
This recent Alert takes a look at what comes next for athletes after their playing days are over, and how they can avoid unhappy endings.
Olympians Strike Back: What’s News–and What’s Advertising–in the Age of Infotainment and Celebrity?
Celebrity is a currency of great value. TMZ, Entertainment Weekly, E!, and innumerable gossip websites and publications prove the point beyond dispute. A group of Olympians including Mark Spitz, Greg Louganis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Amanda Beard have sued Samsung Corporation for using their image to endorse the company without their consent. So, it’s not uncommon that commercial advertisers want to push the edge of the envelope and find ways of using the names, likenesses, and other indicia of celebrities (without obtaining their permission and without paying them) in order to get the attention of us, the consumers.
Partner Mark Fischer explores the often blurry lines between news and commercial endorsement in this blog entry from the New Media and Entertainment Law Blog.