Sports, Media & Entertainment


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Sports, Media and Entertainment

The Sports, Media and Entertainment Law Practice at Gordon & Rees provides the full spectrum of specialty legal services required by the wide range of participants in these high-profile, global, multi-billion dollar industries. Our clients include athletes, sports agents, actors, writers, producers, directors in the motion picture and television business, recording artists, record producers, songwriters in the music business and authors, on-air television hosts and radio station personalities as well as publicly-traded, multinational media and telecommunications entities. We also assist individual and institutional investors involved in the music and motion picture industries.

Our well-respected track record includes many pioneering transactions, such as the first commercial product endorsement agreement for a recording artist with the Jordan/Nike brand, as well as numerous published court decisions of our successful resolution of disputes involving the protection of the brand of an entertainer or athlete, such as the defense of actress Gabrielle Union in Siohvaughn Wade v. Gabrielle Union and the representation of basketball player Dwight Howard in Dwight Howard v. Royce Reed.

Sports Law
Media Law
Entertainment Law

Sports Law

The Sports Law Practice lawyers at Gordon & Rees have extensive experience handling transactional and litigation matters faced by the many individuals and organizations involved in amateur, collegiate and professional sports, including coaches, athletes, agents and corporate sponsors.

Our experience includes:

  • NCAA eligibility, compliance, investigations, and infraction proceedings
  • Employment, benefits and pension agreements, as well as separation and transition arrangements
  • Drafting and negotiating complex commercial transactions
  • Intellectual property rights protection
  • Licensing, merchandising and commercialization agreements
  • Performance and endorsement contracts
  • Brand analysis, management, strategy, and protection
  • Marketing, sponsorship and internet services agreements
  • Dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation and litigation)
  • Privacy, publicity, defamation, and social media
  • Family matters
  • Tax, estate planning, and wealth management
  • Business planning advice

We also have been involved in providing advice relating to charitable activities, international tournaments, ownership of teams, the purchase and sale of sporting events, and sporting event related real estate matters.

We currently serve as general counsel to Olympic Gold medal winning athletes and numerous elite NBA, NFL, and MLB players, including at least one overall number one draft pick in two of the three major professional sports. We provide business and legal advice and dispute resolution counsel to members of the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Rays, and numerous other teams.

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Media Law

Gordon & Rees attorneys have comprehensive experience assisting a broad range of clients involved in the media, new media, and multimedia space. We understand how competitive, innovative, and fast-paced this technology-driven industry is, and we have the knowledge and expertise to handle the numerous first-impression, precedent-setting business and legal issues faced by our clients. Our Media Law attorneys also have specialized knowledge of the extensive and interrelated state, federal and international bodies of law, legislation, and regulations that govern this high-profile industry.

We have represented radio, television, broadband, cable, and wireless broadcasting companies, as well as creators, operators and investors in emerging, non-traditional distribution channels for digital content, such as IPTV, wireless devices, mobile telecom, webcasting, streaming video, and interactive games and television.

Our experience includes:

  • Formation of media entities
  • Financing, negotiation, and documentation of asset sales and acquisitions
  • Regulatory compliance
  • New media models for advertising and marketing
  • Product placement (sourcing, structuring, negotiating, and managing agreements)
  • Franchising, station transfers, and broadcast applications
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Dispute resolution – contracts, IP, false/disparaging advertising, unfair competition, etc.
  • Data privacy
  • Digital content ownership, delivery, production, sale, licensing, etc.
  • Technology transfers and licensing
  • First Amendment, censorship, privacy, and public figures
  • Software licensing

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Entertainment Law

With more than 20 years of expert experience, we have a unique in-depth understanding of the entertainment industry and business objectives of all participants. Our advice is prudent, practical, and straightforward. We have a can-do approach to help our clients complete the deals that keep the entertainment industry at the top of the list of the world’s most innovative, high-profile, and complex industries.

We focus on the motion picture, television, cable, music publishing (traditional print and online/new media), Internet, interactive media, and theatre industries. Our national and international clients include celebrities, recording artists, fashion models, athletes, writers, actors, directors, playwrights, agents, authors, on-air radio station personalities, record labels and distributors, book publishers, motion picture and television producers, networks, studios, and global music and entertainment companies. We also represent entrepreneurs and investors involved in project financing, co-financing, and co-production in the music and motion picture industries.

Our scope of services includes film and television finance, development and production agreements, acquisition and distribution agreements, commercial tie-ins and product placement, brand value expansion, dispute resolution, and business strategy and operations planning. We also have a particular expertise in protecting intellectual property rights and leveraging the greatest value possible from such rights through agreements relating to promotion, advertising, licensing, endorsement, and merchandising. In the realm of dispute resolution, our attorneys have a proven track record of successfully handling adversarial arbitrations, mediations, and litigations in both formal and informal settings. The range of disputes we handle include copyright infringement, breach of contract, slander and libel, fraud, use of name and likeness, and financial windfall.

Examples of our experience include:

  • Drafting, negotiating and renegotiating sales, distribution, recording, producer, publishing, management, tour, motion picture soundtrack, merchandising, licensing, stage play, on-air talent and product placement agreements
  • Advising individuals and companies on intellectual property rights, copyright content protection, social media, and rights to privacy and publicity matters
  • Negotiating of talent hiring agreements, as well as performer, writer and producer agreements
  • Guidance on domestic and international royalty arrangements
  • Counseling in cross-marketing and brand-building opportunities
  • Counseling entertainment companies in new media and distribution models
  • Counseling executives at corporations and major record labels on structuring current and deferred compensation packages
  • Representation of producers, brands, talent and studios in commercial tie-in, product placement and publicity arrangements
  • Advise on First Amendment protection, censorship, rights of privacy and publicity, prepublication review rights, and the rights of public figures
  • Transactions involving the development, financing, production, and distribution of motion picture, television and interactive properties
  • Advising on guild and union issues, including SAG, AFTRA, SAG, SESAC, DGA, WGA, Teamsters and IATSE
  • Negotiating rights agreements, including literary option and purchase agreements and life story rights agreements
  • Structuring financial arrangements among producers, equity investors, mezzanine financiers, distributors and senior lenders, including production lending agreements and completion bond agreements
  • Negotiating sponsorship and other licensing arrangements, including naming rights agreements and complex joint ventures involving intellectual property rights
  • Global trademark counsel including protection, clearance, worldwide registration, and enforcement litigation
  • Representing independent film producers in the formation of production companies, investment funding, and distribution agreements

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Sports, Media and Entertainment Fast Facts
  • 14 Attorneys
  • Director, Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers’ Association
  • Atlanta Business League
  • Copyright Society of the USA
  • Georgia Bar Association, Sports and Entertainment Section
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