Entertainment & Sports Law

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Entertainment & Sports Law

Premier Representation in Sports & Entertainment Law

Messner Reeves brings years of experience in sports and entertainment law to each client representation.

Our Sports and Entertainment Practice Group has decades of experience protecting our clients’ rights. We have a multi-sport focus that includes professional, college, and amateur athletes and coaches. As a result, the firm is well-versed in the laws and regulations that govern the sports industry. In addition, we work with media and entertainment professionals such as artists, musicians, actors, and writers to protect their image, intellectual property, and products.

From handling talent representation, wealth planning, and publishing rights to handling sensitive salary negotiations, our goal is to protect our clients’ interests.

Sports Attorneys: Corporate and Institutional Representation

The Sports and Entertainment law attorneys at Messner Reeves work with clients nationwide. We represent corporations, institutions, and organizations of varying sizes in every stage and aspect of the sports and entertainment industries.

Our services range from NIL Collective formation and General Counsel representation for athletic departments to financing and also the representation of arena development companies. We understand the critical business issues our clients face and efficiently deliver superior results.


Sports Attorneys: Corporate and Institutional Representation

What We Do

NCAA NAME, IMAGE, and LIKENESS LAWYERS

The phrase Name, Image, and Likeness, or “NIL,” burst into the collective consciousness of athletes and sports fans alike after the United States Supreme Court ruled on NCAA vs. Alston, et. al was decided on June 21, 2021. However, protecting the interests of our uniquely talented clients began long before that decision. Our attorneys have decades of experience protecting the rights of gifted individuals in sports and entertainment and will continue to do so long into the future.

Our Sports and Entertainment Practice area has long included representation of famous athletes, entertainers, and creators in art, music, and many related industries such as instrument design and manufacturing. Our expertise covers every legal need that arises from having valuable NIL rights, from brand protection and licensing to talent representation and reputation management, as well as wealth planning. The Messner Reeves legal team also partners with athletes to protect them through contract review, intellectual property protection (including digital assets and NFTs), and compliance.

Since the Alston decision, we have combined that experience with our deep knowledge of NCAA regulations and and strong relationships with athletic department personnel, to provide an even wider scope of representation.

NIL COLLECTIVES

There is no true definition of a “NIL Collective,” and no two Collectives are created or managed the same way. Some are formed as 501(c)(3) non-profits, others are constructed as 501(c)(7) tax-exempt entities, and others have elected to create for-profit LLCs. Depending on the organization’s goals, Messner Reeves attorneys provide legal and tax advice on the formation, governance, and NCAA compliance aspects that must be navigated to meet objectives.

Messner Reeves attorneys work with alumni, boosters, and other founding members of NIL Collectives to protect and monetize student-athletes’ brands so they can receive the compensation that has historically been kept from them.

ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS and ATHLETIC DEPARTMENTS

Academic Institutions entrust the Sports and Entertainment attorneys at Messner Reeves to represent their interests in various roles, including outside general counsel services for their athletic departments. The firm represents athletic departments in all areas, including employment, compensation packages, litigation, facilities contracts, intellectual property, vendor agreements, and special issues impacting public and quasi-public bodies and those with government contracts.

SPORTS STADIUM ARENAS

Messner Reeves is a go-to for the representation for arena development. Our multi-faceted team brings insight into every aspect of arena development. Clients trust Messner Reeves to create and deploy legal strategies that cover all levels of financing, development, real estate, contracting, licensing, endorsements, and investment. In addition, our award-winning trial department is brought in when litigation or other disputes related to arena development need to be addressed.

Who We Are

Who We Are

The business side of the sports and entertainment industries encompasses a wide variety of specialized legal practices, and both require a team of experts to be successful. The Entertainment and Sports Law Practice Group at Messner Reeves is no different.

The lawyers in this Practice Group include current and former musicians, artists, collegiate athletes, professional athletes, university in-house counsel, and scouts. The diversity in experience allows each attorney to provide their unique perspectives on sports and entertainment law representation.

As a full-service business law firm, Messner Reeves proactively meets the needs of sports and entertainment professionals through top-notch corporate legal services. We also protect interests and reputations through our litigation and trial capabilities.

Our Services


NFT and DIGITAL ASSETS

  • IP (Copyrights, Trademarks, Publicity Rights, Licenses) Management and Enforcement
  • Rep for Either Side of Publisher/Promoter/Distributor/Manager/Label Deals
    Collaborator Agreements and Talent/Image/Rights Releases
    PRO Relationships
  • Song Placement
  • Beat Leases
  • NFTs

NIL and COLLECTIVES

NIL

  • Talent Representation
  • Licensing, Endorsements and Publishing Rights
  • Agency Relationship Management
  • Career Support
  • Contract Drafting, Review and Negotiations
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Wealth Management and Financial Literacy counseling

Collectives

  • Corporate Structuring
  • Non-profit Structuring
  • Corporate Governance
  • NCAA Compliance
  • Collective/Compliance Relation Management
  • Agency Relationship Management
  • Trademark and Trade Secret protection

SPORTS ARENA REPRESENTATION

  • Facility and Team Contract and Lease Advice
  • Professional Franchise Negotiations
  • Primary and Secondary Financing
  • Real Estate Acquisitions (Purchase, Sale, Lending and Leasing)
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Corporate Governance
  • Vendor Agreements
  • Workout and Recovery Strategy
  • Mergers and Acquisitions

ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS / ATHLETIC DEPARTMENTS

  • General counsel
  • Compensation packages
  • Employment compliance and litigation
  • Compensation packages
  • Facilities contracts,
  • Intellectual property
  • Vendor Agreements
  • Issues impacting public and quasi-public bodies
  • Government contracts


Our Sports & Entertainment Attorneys

Allan B. Claybon

Associate
Orange County

Phone: 424.276.6214
Email: aclaybon@messner.com

Benjamin Tietgen

Partner
Phoenix

Phone: 602.457.5081
Email: btietgen@messner.com

Image of Attorney Bartels

Brenda L. Bartels

Partner
Colorado Springs

Phone: 719.260.7900
Email: bbartels@messner.com

Image of Attorney Myers

Christian S. Myers

Associate
Denver

Phone: 303.454.5445
Email: cmyers@messner.com

Clay W. Barnett

Director of Business Development & Partner
Denver

Phone: 303.605.1563
Email: cbarnett@messner.com

Edgar Carranza

Partner
Las Vegas

Phone: 702.363.5100
Email: ecarranza@messner.com

Torben M. Welch

Partner
Salt Lake City

Phone: 801.683.2021
Email: twelch@messner.com

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