BackSports Law

The business of sports is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, estimated to represent over $400 billion in value.

Our Sports Law Group is national in scope and operates as a single practice across all of our Nelson Mullins offices and beyond.  Leadership of the Sports Law Group is exclusively engaged in and dedicated to, servicing and counseling clients in this dynamic and evolving industry.  The Sports Law Group is supported by Nelson Mullins' attorneys who bring established and proven multi-disciplinary capabilities to this complex sector of business

The Sports Law Group possesses the depth and experience in related practice areas such as corporate, labor and employment, antitrust, advertising, licensing, intellectual property, rights of publicity, traditional and new media, technology, data security and privacy, tax, and litigation.  We have the capacity to respond promptly to pressing legal issues and demanding timelines facing our clients in this industry.  The Sports Law Group is chaired by Boston partner Jay Fee, whose practice has been focused in a number of disciplines within the sports industry for more than 20 years.

Our services include:

  • Counseling companies and highly successful professional athletes on strategic decisions related to structuring and negotiating sports industry sponsorship and licensing relationships.
  • Providing counsel to clients seeking to leverage sports investments across traditional media and digital platforms, such as social media and on-line advertising, in a manner consistent with the Federal Trade Commission's guidance concerning authenticity, disclosures, misleading endorsements, and false claims.
  • Securing legal protections for content created—which includes a client's intellectual property as well as protections related to data and customer information—collected as sports marketing campaigns are activated.
  • Counseling companies looking to secure relationships with athletes and celebrities while insuring an emphasis on brand protection.
  • Counseling clients on structuring and negotiating stadium and arena naming rights agreements.
  • Counseling NCAA Collegiate Athletic Programs concerning internal investigations, revenue generating contractual relationships, policies and procedures, and employment contracts with coaches and senior athletic department employees.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a global consumer electronics company, completing negotiations on multi-year national sponsorship agreements with the National Football League and other sponsorship agreements with NFL franchises and several NFL star players.
  • Negotiated promotional rights agreement with the PGA TOUR on behalf of a client that was expanding its marketing campaign through Asia.
  • Negotiated an NFL Stadium Naming Rights Agreement on behalf of a global automotive company.
  • Counseled clients concerning business and legal considerations relating to agreements with sports properties such as Formula 1 racing teams, NBA China, US Ski Team, and PGA TOUR tournament sponsorships.
  • Negotiated global licensing and video game agreement on behalf of world's highest ranked professional golfer with EA Sports.
  • Representing several Regional Sports Networks in connection with securing team media rights and distribution agreements.
  • Advised a new sports league on establishment of a personal conduct policy and a protocol for performance enhancing substance testing and violation sanctions.
  • Negotiation of global ambassadorship and sponsorship agreement on behalf of a corporate client with highly ranked professional golfer.
  • Advising and counseling the marine division of a large international corporation related to its sponsorship and marketing initiatives.
  • Representing a major international golf equipment company concerning matters relating to their sponsorship, advertising, and marketing activities with professional golfers.
  • Negotiated exclusive broadcast advertising agreement for an NFL sponsor with NBC Sports Group.
  • Representing North America's leading software company providing 50/50 raffle system to over 150 professional and collegiate sports stadiums and arenas.
  • Counseling clients on proper usage of contests, sweepstakes, and social media platforms in connection with corporate advertising, marketing and promotional campaigns.
  • Counseling and advising an NHL franchise on a variety of business and legal matters.
  • Provided counsel on tax efficient structuring of employment agreements to a number of major college coaches and universities.


  • Responsive service from experienced professionals - Clients of the Nelson Mullins Sports Law Group receive responsive services from a team of legal professionals who understand the sports industry.
  • Solution-Driven - Our attorneys are solution driven and will seek ways to achieve objectives, protect client content and properties, manage risks and assist in developing and securing new strategic opportunities.
  • Quality service and cost efficiency - Our clients receive the benefit of experienced, senior level partners and associates at fair and reasonable rates that are both competitive in the marketplace and complimentary to budgetary management.