Whether you are a talented high school or college athlete, are playing sports professionally, or are training for the Olympics, you need more than an agent to represent your interests. Understanding contracts, navigating state, school, and league regulations, and following recent changes about how you can and cannot profit as a sports figure are the purview of your entertainment industry attorney.
A Fort Lauderdale sports lawyer could negotiate and draft suitable contracts and review others you may be asked to sign. The Lomnitzer Law Firm is familiar with the laws that govern the sports world and we are skilled negotiators if someone misappropriates your image or engages in unfair competition. We also negotiate and memorialize broadcasting rights for sports teams.
A sports attorney should be adept at drafting contracts, which are the mainstay for any player who exchanges talents through a professional services contract, endorses a product, or agrees to special appearances to promote a team. Contracts also control a team’s relationship with broadcasters who pay for the right to air team games. Players who lend their names or images to promote a product are also bound by contracts. A savvy Fort Lauderdale sports lawyer should anticipate all aspects of a contract so a client gets the most out of it.
One of the most exciting developments in college sports is the ability for athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL), thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
The regulatory body for student athletes, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) had historically restricted athletes from taking compensation based on their skills, other than scholarships. By unanimous decision, justices noted in National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston that the NCAA unlawfully restricted student athlete payments and benefits in violation of anti-trust laws under the Sherman Act.
The NCAA relaxed its rules to allow college athletes to endorse products and services and sponsor products for companies. Navigating this recent change should be left to a Fort Lauderdale sports attorney with knowledge of the law, because college students must still notify their schools, where a determination will be made about activities that might violate local or state laws. Relationships outside of the NCAA are also governed by other rules, including those of the International Olympics Committee and the National Labor Relations Board.
Sports teams traditionally negotiated with broadcasting companies for exclusive rights to air their games, but even that has evolved to less exclusivity because of the internet and expansion of rights onto that platform. The European Union football league, for example, sold broadcast rights for matchups on Facebook, where millions of users watched.
Sports teams also partner with companies that lend their names to stadiums and advertise within them. For instance, the Miami Dolphins partnered with Hard Rock Café, Inc. for naming rights to its stadium in August 2016. The rights then sold for $250 million and will be paid over 18 years. It is important to ensure any agreement concerning corporate sponsorships is fair and reasonable, that the terms are clear-cut, and that it outlines proper procedures for any violation. A sports attorney could negotiate and draft agreements for these lucrative partnerships.
Whether you are a college athlete with an endorsement offer, a local team with a tentative broadcast deal, or a sports agent in need of a professional contract, an attorney’s job is to bring you together, negotiate for you, and ensure you are protected and properly compensated.
Lomnitzer Law can provide you with any sports-related contract that suits your needs. We can negotiate and draft NIL agreements and represent you in broadcasting and naming rights discussions, among many other things. A Fort Lauderdale sports lawyer stays on top of the ever-changing legal aspects of the sports world so you can further your career on your own terms. Call and schedule a meeting with a member of our team today.