Sports Law Update

July 2017

In this edition of Herrick’s Sports Law Update, we delve into the due diligence aspects of eSports investments, updates from our clients Legends Hospitality, Top Rank and Venezia FC; and the Las Vegas Sun reports on our representation of UNLV, which is negotiating with the Las Vegas Raiders on the city’s $1.9 billion stadium project.

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Last year saw a plethora of investors turn their focus to eSports. The Philadelphia 76ers acquired Team Dignitas and Team Apex; while the investment group aXiomatic, which includes Steve Case, Tony Robbins and Magic Johnson, bought the Dutch-based Team Liquid. The co-owners of the Sacramento Kings also bought Team Coast, and then proceeded to rebrand the team as NRG with help from investors Shaquille O’Neal, Alex Rodriguez and Jimmy Rollins. But what should eSports investors expect during the due diligence phase? Our Sports Law Group members Irwin Kishner and Erica Markowitz delve into a wide range of issues affecting the deal, including employment agreements, media rights, sponsorships and intellectual property concerns.

(Photo Source: Jakob Wells)

Herrick Advises Legends Hospitality in Investment by New Mountain Capital

On May 3, New Mountain Capital announced a partnership with our longtime client Legends Hospitality, a leader in hospitality, merchandise, ticket sales, planning, sponsorships and experiential services for the sports and entertainment industries. As part of the agreement, New Mountain is making a strategic investment in Legends, whose principal owners are members of the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees. Herrick advised on Legend’s formation in 2008, and has advised on every major transaction since then, including Legends' joint venture with Live Nation; its equity investment in DraftKings; concessions and premium dining agreements with Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer teams; and agreements to develop and operate the One World Observatory and SkyRise Miami observation decks.

ESPN to Air Two Top Rank Fights in August

Our longtime client Top Rank will produce and broadcast two great nights of championship boxing in August, both of which you can watch on ESPN. On August 5, Vasyl Lomachenko will defend his WBO junior lightweight title against two-time world title challenger and top-10 contender Miguel "Escorpión" Marriaga at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. On August 19, undefeated Terence “Bud” Crawford will head to Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska to risk his WBO, WBC and Ring magazine world titles against undefeated IBF and WBA world champion Julius Indongo.

Venezia FC Earns Promotion to Italy’s Serie B

Shortly after our last newsletter, our client Venezia FC clinched an impressive return to Italy’s Serie B league for the first time in 15 years. VFC is carrying that momentum this summer, with its first-ever trip to the U.S. Last Tuesday VFC played an international friendly against Detroit City FC, and this week the club will be partnering with U.S. Soccer Development Academy member Metropolitan Oval on two training camps for New York’s elite young soccer talent. This week’s camp is in Long Island’s Cedar Creek Park, and next week’s takes place at the Met Oval in Queens. Besides improving your soccer skills, top players born from 2000-2003 will earn an opportunity to train with the club in Venice!

Las Vegas Sun: UNLV Hires Powerful N.Y. Sports Law Firm after Receiving Raiders Stadium Proposal

The Sun reports on our representation of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which is negotiating with the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders to bring a $1.9 billion stadium project to the city.

Herrick Supports Soccer Field Project in Rural Kenya

The One World Play Project brings the transformative power of play to hundreds of millions of kids who don’t have something as simple as a ball. We recently donated four of their ultra-durable soccer balls to the 2 Cows Farm soccer field project in Kambi Mawe, Makueni, Kenya, a rural area with no sports facilities. The amazing folks at 2 Cows are turning part of their farm into a football pitch with leagues, coaching and informal play for hundreds of local men, women and children. If you’d like more information about this inspiring transformative soccer project, please visit their One World Play Project fundraising page.