Miller Nash attorneys guide clients in a wide variety of matters relating to sports, entertainment, and media.
Our attorneys advise sports teams, entertainment venues, content creators, talent managers, educational institutions, athletes, and other individuals and businesses in the sports, entertainment, and media industries. As a Proud Associate to Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Miller Nash is deeply invested in sports and entertainment in the Northwest and uniquely aware of the important role the industry plays in addressing issues including sustainability, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism, as well as the transformational impact sports and entertainment business can have on the communities we serve.
Our team is distinctively positioned to understand the sports, entertainment, and media industries. We have been collegiate athletes, agents, and in-house counsel, and we understand the way our clients in the space operate as well as the legal issues they face. We bring broad experience to the table to meet the wide range of our clients’ legal needs, including a range of related practices that advise clients on specific industry issues, such as:
- Contract drafting, review, and negotiation, including sponsorship and signage agreements, licensing arrangements, and other commercial agreements
- Commercial leasing, purchase and sale transactions, and real estate finance matters, both arm’s length and intercompany transactions
- Federal and state tax analysis of commercial transactions, joint ventures, and reorganizations; executive compensation and preparation of qualified and nonqualified deferred compensation plans; and strategies to utilize federal, state, and local tax incentives and credits
- General employment policies and matters for staff and players, including salary arbitration
- Concussion policies and litigation
- Enforcement, licensing, strategic advising, and dispute resolution for copyrights, trademarks, and contests and sweepstakes
- E-sports and gaming
- Emerging business, including incubators, accelerators, and venture funds
- Pouring rights agreements and venue distribution agreements as part of our alcoholic beverage practice
Venues, Teams, Sponsors & Service Providers
Our venue clients, such as Climate Pledge Arena and those operated by our education clients, face a variety of issues relating to stadium signage and presenting sponsorship rights, food provider and beverage pouring rights, government and regulatory affairs issues, league and team interactions, and more. We also serve professional teams and amateur sports organizations and are proud to play a part in helping our clients expeditiously address the many off-ice or off-field details that go into operating a team or event. In addition, we have helped a variety of brands in other industries with similar matters, including sponsorship and signage agreements, event-related agreements, and other venue interactions.
Athletes, Entertainers, Creators & Representatives
We are proud to have worked with industry-leading content creators and entertainers, Olympians, all-stars, and world champions to provide practical advice at the individual and entity level. Our team represents athletes, actors, creators, influencers and their agents and managers on sponsorship and endorsement agreements; name, image and likeness licensing; television and film contracts; IP protection; and business entity set-up and capital raising. We help clients effectively monetize and build their brands and business ventures, minimizing legal risk along the way.
Our attorneys stay up to date on the newest forms of talent and brand interaction with consumers and fans. We work with talent and representation at the forefront of YouTube and social media creation, e-sports and gaming, streaming, and other newer media forms, in addition to more traditional forms of entertainment and media such as TV and film. Our diverse team also assists clients with their charitable endeavors, franchising, and tax issues, as well as enforcing their rights and interests through litigation when needed.
Sports and Entertainment-Related Businesses & Products
We work with clients who engage the sports and entertainment industries as manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, investors, joint venturers and more. We help consumer product businesses and brands with raising capital, protecting intellectual property, distribution and supply agreements, regulatory affairs, sponsorships and influencer marketing agreements, channel partnerships and other investor, vendor, talent, team, and venue interactions. We understand the complexities of sports and entertainment industry agreements, and we assist clients through the life cycle of a deal, from negotiation to enforcement.
Our firm has a long history of representing private and public educational institutions. We have counseled clients on matters involving athletic departments, student-athletes, and on-campus sports and entertainment events. Our work includes front-end compliance such as developing and implementing Title IX regulations and guidance, advising clients on NCAA regulatory affairs, defending against state and federal lawsuits, and counseling education clients on intellectual property matters, nonprofit organization and governance, licensing and affiliation agreements, athletic-related employment issues, and construction contracting and financing. Of course, we also advise clients on the range of general business issues that all athletic teams and venues encounter.