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Industry Group

Sports and Entertainment

Ogletree Deakins lawyers understand the complexities and nuances of sports and entertainment businesses. We regularly provide advice and education to clients on sports and entertainment-related legal topics. We also understand the pace of the industry and the vital importance of keeping our clients on stage or on the field. As a result, we strive to partner with our clients to provide sophisticated legal and practical assistance tailored to each matter.


In the sports arena, our attorneys have experience with teams in all major sports leagues and their minor league affiliates, including Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, and the National Hockey League. Our attorneys have additional highlighted experience representing employers in the areas of track and field, Formula 1 racing, professional soccer, mixed martial arts fighting championships, and university and college sports teams and athletic departments. They have applied their experience in areas such as employment law, labor matters, immigration, employee benefits, and executive compensation. Our attorneys’ work has included assisting clients in the following areas, among others:

  • Post-acquisition work on benefit plans and executive compensation
  • Collegiate compliance
  • High-profile tort claims, including claims based on athletic conduct and claims by patrons
  • Advice and counsel on ADA issues arising from stadium access
  • Visas for athletes to participate in sporting events both domestically and internationally
  • Green cards and family filings for athletes
  • Crisis management advice and counsel on misconduct and termination of players, coaches, and staff
  • Diversity, workplace violence, sexual harassment, and civility training
  • Litigation defense
  • Title III ADA compliance with employees and venues
  • Resolution of employment and termination issues for athletes and staff in foreign jurisdictions
  • Coaching contract advice and counsel
  • Wage and hour matters including FLSA exempt status determinations
  • Strategic modifications of compensation for key employee subgroups (e.g., season ticket and sales personnel)
  • Separation of sports industry executives
  • Drug testing policy review
  • Signage and sponsorship contracts
  • ERISA compliance
  • Legal claims relating to stadiums and other sports venues
  • NCAA investigation defense
  • Training and education of NCAA and NAIA regulation compliance
  • Title IX training to colleges and universities



In the entertainment industry, our attorneys have worked with major media conglomerates, production companies, international movie theater chains, radio stations, theater groups, the cast and crew of television shows, casinos, high-profile celebrities and comedians, and other media entities. Issues they have worked on include but are not limited to:

  • Litigation
  • Class actions
  • Advice and counsel
  • Investigations
  • Contract negotiation
  • Visas for performers and actors to attend events domestically and internationally
  • Green cards and family filings for entertainers
  • Employment and separation agreements in entertainment ventures
  • Employee training for cast and crews
  • Injury waivers
  • Employment law
  • Traditional labor, including union avoidance training

Sports and Entertainment Industry Group Leaders

Attorneys for this Practice Group

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