How to Score Major Returns in Minor League Baseball with Taxpayer Cash
June 9, 2015 -- The Deal
Dan Etna was quoted in The Deal on his representation of the Yankees on stadium negotiations in Lackawanna County. Dan explained that while the county knew it’s minor league baseball team was a “business draw worth keeping,” management posed certain challenges that private investors may not face. In order to boost the team’s economic success and attract larger crowds to the stadium, Mandalay and the Yankees added better in-game entertainment and higher-end food options. Dan added, "Don't forget the Yankees had a whole separate value-add they were able to bring to the table -- their own promotional repertoire."
Rays hope to jump start league’s lowest attendance this season
May 22, 2015 -- The Tampa Tribune
Dan Etna was quoted in The Tampa Tribune regarding declining attendance for Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays. Etna explained how younger fans want an improved game-day experience at professional sports stadiums with better food and dining options as well as quality Wi-Fi to monitor their smart phones during the game. "That group can go down to Joe's tavern," Etna said. "There, they feel like they don't have to wait to use the bathroom or pay $13 for a stale beer."
Chambers USA Ranks Four Herrick Practices and Six Partners for Excellence
May 20, 2015
Chambers USA's team of 150+ researchers bases its rankings on interviews with our clients, in-house counsel and lawyers at other firms. Their rankings are independent and objective – in short, there is no way for Herrick to buy this recognition.
Six Herrick partners and four of our practice areas were noted for excellence.
What’s next for player discipline?
May 11, 2015 -- SportsBusiness Journal
Irwin Kishner participated in a SportsBusiness Journal Q&A about disciplining athletes in the age of social media and increased public scrutiny. Among other issues, Irwin opined on how leagues may approach the discipline issue in the future. "I think we'll see increased suspension times, more fines and more expensive fines, and more of an ability by coaches, managers and front offices to implement policies and regulate negative behavior," Kishner said. "I also think the leagues will be looking more to outside experts, including economists and behavioral scientists, to develop strategies for influencing player behavior that are in accord with the ideals of the league."
Teams find safety in numbers on legal staff
May 11, 2015 -- SportsBusiness Journal
Irwin Kishner and Dan Etna spoke to SportsBusiness Journal about several factors driving the growth of sports teams' legal staffs, including business deals that are increasing in size and complexity, and the diversity of legal expertise required to manage a team's day-to-day business. "You're always going to have the need for outside expertise," Kishner said. "For issues that are not run of the mill, you can't have that level of expertise in-house."
StubHub takes Warriors, Ticketmaster to court over ticket sales
March 30, 2015 -- San Francisco Business Times
Irwin Kishner was quoted in the San Francisco Business Times regarding a federal lawsuit filed by ticket broker website StubHub against Ticketmaster and the NBA's Golden State Warriors. The lawsuit accuses the two of violating federal antitrust law and California law against unfair competition by dictating the terms of ticket resales and driving up prices. Irwin explained that contract law allows the team to dictate which ticket resales are valid.
Attorney: Assets That Replace Saints And Pelicans In Trusts Need To Account For Rising Team Values
February 4, 2015
John Goldman was quoted in a Forbes story regarding lawsuits filed against Tom Benson, the owner of the NFL's New Orleans Saints and NBA's Pelicans, by his family members challenging his plan to leave ownership of both franchises to his third wife, Gayle. The trust of Benson's daughter and two grandchildren owned 60% of the Saints and 95% of the Pelicans, and the lawsuits challenge Benson trying to substitute a $449 million promissory note as being of equivalent value when he removed the teams' stakes from the trust.
NHL's Flames Skate Off with Stockton Thunder
January 30, 2015
Dan Etna was quoted by The Deal (subscription only) about the sale of the Stockton Thunder, a minor league hockey team, to the National Hockey League's Calgary Flames as part of a broader trend of NHL teams acquiring minor league franchises to better align their interests. The Stockton sale is a "really representative sample of how the whole minor league business is trending," Dan said. With the Flames acquiring the Stockton team, he said, "now you have your team in the same time zone and you can more closely monitor the affiliation. It also allows for a way of further branding and development of the minor league club."
Benson family battle for Saints, Pelicans, a matter of trusts
January 23, 2015 -- The Times-Picayune
John Goldman was quoted in The Times-Picayune regarding a family feud in New Orleans involving Tom Benson, the owner of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans, and succession plans that have led to several lawsuits. From his “business divorce” experience -- helping to resolve family disputes over businesses, real estate and wealth generally -- and his perspective from decades of handling sports matters, Goldman predicted that NFL and NBA league leaders were already urging the Benson family to resolve their legal disputes quickly and efficiently. “In family disputes, emotions get very high,” John said. “It can really be an issue.”
Legal experts wary of NFL’s plan on conduct
December 8, 2014 -- Sports Business Journal
Irwin Kishner was quoted in the Sports Business Journal about the legal ramifications of the National Football League implementing a reformed personal conduct policy for players without collectively bargaining the changes with the players' union. Irwin indicated that the NFL does not have much legal standing to argue that the policy changes are not subject to union agreement. "I haven't seen a legal argument to justify it," he said. "[The NFL's] intentions are right on all of this, but I don't see how they can unilaterally implement a change to an article in the CBA."
Silver’s Column An Effort To Clarify NBA Stance
November 24, 2014 -- Sports Business Journal
Dan Etna was quoted in Sports Business Journal on NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's recent opinion piece in The New York Times pushing for legalized sports betting and how it may affect how other professional sports leagues position themselves on the issue. “The NBA is very creative in finding ways to maximize its assets, and [Silver] wants to get in front so that the NBA will have the ability to derive revenue from it,” Dan said. “By getting out there, he is going to cause the other leagues to take a position on it sooner rather than later.” He added, "I find it very curious given that the NBA is party to the New Jersey gambling lawsuit. It is kind of Silver double dribbling."
Chris Christie Facing Long Odds in Court Case
November 18, 2014 -- Asbury Park Press
Dan Etna was quoted in an Asbury Park Press story about an upcoming federal court hearing on whether to extend a ban on New Jersey's efforts to legalize betting on professional and college sports. A recent op-ed published by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver that supports wagering on sports "further underscores the inconsistency in the leagues' position," Etna said. "[But] I think anyone looking for Judge Shipp to come to the state's rescue is likely holding a losing hand as he's indicated before that Congress should resolve this issue and not the courts."
So You Want to Buy a Sports Team? Opportunities 'Abbondare' in Italy
November 12, 2014 -- FINalternatives
John Goldman and Bryan Meltzer wrote an article for FINalternatives titled "So You Want to Buy a Sports Team? Opportunities 'Abbondare' in Italy." They recommend that potential investors in sports franchises look past the sky-high valuations of NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL teams and consider Italian soccer clubs. They wrote, "So where can the smart money go to find sports opportunities with significant upside? One league that is gaining attention is Italy's storied Serie A, the country's top professional soccer league. To date, two North American ownership groups have purchased teams in the league, and more might be on the way."
UFC Backs Betting Expansion in U.S.
November 5, 2014 - ESPN
Dan Etna was quoted in an ESPN.com story on the federal lawsuit filed by the NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball to block the state of New Jersey from offering legalized sports betting and the possibility of sports books taking bets on sports not involved in the lawsuit, including golf, soccer, tennis and mixed martial arts. Cited as one of "several legal experts who have been following the case closely," Dan said, "I found it interesting that [the judge] used such a broad brush in applying equitable relief."
Bloomberg Radio: "Taking Stock"
September 4, 2014
Bloomberg Radio interviews Irwin Kishner on his work as legal advisor to the New York Yankees. To listen, click here.
NFL still standing with franchise on name
June 23, 2014 -- Sports Business Journal
Barry Werbin was quoted in the Sports Business Journal article "NFL still standing with franchise on name" (subscription required). In the article, Barry opines on the USPTO Trademark Trial & Appeal Board's cancellation of the Washington Redskins trademark, and the team's prospective use of common law to protect its trademark in the future. He adds that the matter is "also a big political issue, with the NFL having been pressured…by some 49 senators to force the team to change its name. Considering what happened with Sterling's racial remarks and the NBA forcing a sale of the Clippers, we probably are moving more and more to zero tolerance within the leagues respecting race and disparagement."
If She Can Make It Here
January 29, 2014 -- Real Estate Bisnow: New York City Edition
Belinda Schwartz, chair of Herrick's 50-member Real Estate Department, was profiled in the January 28th New York City Real Estate Bisnow article “If She Can Make It Here.” Herrick Executive Committee chairman Irwin Kishner is also noted, as is the firm’s work on the sale of the YES Network to 21st Century Fox.
Herrick Represents The New York Yankees in Multi-Year Broadcast Agreement with CBS Radio
September 16, 2013
Herrick, Feinstein LLP is proud to have represented the New York Yankees in the signing of a multi-year broadcast agreement with CBS RADIO to simulcast Yankees games on WFAN-AM 660 and WFAN-FM 101.9, beginning in 2014. All Yankees regular season and postseason games as well as pregame and postgame shows and a selection of spring training games will be simulcast. The agreement also grants CBS RADIO multi-year Spanish-language broadcast rights.
Herrick, Feinstein Helps Bring Major League Soccer to New York City
June 25, 2013
Herrick, Feinstein LLP is proud to have represented an affiliate of our longtime clients Yankee Global Enterprises, LLC and the New York Yankees in their joint venture effort with the English Premier League’s Manchester City to bring a new Major League Soccer team to New York City. The new team, called New York City Football Club, will begin play in 2015 and will be Major League Soccer’s 20th franchise.
Six Am Law Firms Help Bring Big League Soccer to NYC
May 22, 2013 -- The Am Law Daily
Herrick, Feinstein Chairman Irwin Kishner and Corporate Partner Daniel Etna are noted for advising the New York Yankees in its joint venture with the English Premier League's Manchester City Football Club for the creation of a New York soccer team in 2015, a $100 million deal announced by Major League Soccer.
Idaho Court’s Baseball Rule Balk Could Impact Other Sports
March 28, 2013 -- Law360
In an article about the Idaho Supreme Court's recent decision declining to adopt the so-called baseball rule, which prohibits fans injured by foul balls from suing team and stadium owners for negligence, Herrick, Feinstein Partner Daniel A. Etna is quoted on the impact of the ruling, saying, "I find it very unlikely that this will result in a paradigm shift for sports fan injuries nationwide. It's one out of 50 states, and I think it has to be viewed through that lens."
5 Ways To Hit A Home Run As A Sports Investor
March 14, 2013 -- Business Insider
Irwin Kishner has been quoted in an article re: various investment vehicles in sports. "The most important part is you have to deal with a reputable source when you buy or sell -- someone who can authenticate the item," says Irwin. He went on to note that, "People should only (invest in memorabilia) if they enjoy it," rather than to make money.
Five Firms Advise on News Corp. Acquisition of YES Network Stake
November 21, 2012 -- Bloomberg News
In an article discussing law firm involvement in the News Corp/YES Network deal, Herrick, Feinstein partners who served as lead counsel to the Yankees are mentioned, including: Irwin Kishner, Richard Morris, Edward Stevenson and Daniel Etna.
Seven Am Law 200 Firms in Lineup for Sale of YES Network Stake
November 20, 2012 -- AmLawDaily
In an article detailing law firm involvement in the News Corp/YES Network deal, Herrick, Feinstein partners involved in the deal as lead counsel to the Yankees are mentioned, including: Irwin Kishner, Richard Morris, Edward Stevenson and Daniel Etna.
Hearing in McNamee's defamation suit against Clemens Wednesday
June 26, 2012 -- Newsday
In a story about the revival of Brian McNamee’s defamation lawsuit against Roger Clemens, Herrick, Feinstein’s John Goldman was quoted about the unlikelihood that Clemens would settle out of court saying, “This is the same guy and set of lawyers that took on the government with Clemens' liberty at stake, and they won. I cannot imagine they're going to write a check to McNamee to settle this case."
Why Prosecute the Rocket
May 18, 2012 -- Sports Litigation Alert
The article, “Why Prosecute the Rocket,” by John Goldman was featured in Sports Litigation Alert.
Pettitte's '50-50' recall a problem for Clemens prosecution
May 2, 2012 -- USA Today
Herrick, Feinstein litigation partner John Goldman is quoted on Andy Pettitte’s testimony in the government’s case against Roger Clemens and his alleged use of steroids or HGH. In his analysis of Mr. Pettitte’s testimony, John Goldman notes, "Andy Pettitte seems to have been positioned by the government as a star witness because of his close friendship with Clemens and his prior testimony that Clemens admitted to him in 1999 that Clemens had used HGH.”
Yankees' Pettitte: I may have misunderstood Clemens
May 2, 2012 -- Reuters
The article discusses Andy Pettitte’s testimony in the government’s case against Roger Clemens. John Goldman is quoted in relation to Mr. Pettitte’s testimony, noting that Mr. Pettitte may have “misunderstood” Clemens when they discussed the use of human growth hormone.
Athlete Franchisees Build Fast Food Careers After Sports
March 16, 2012 -- QSR Magazine
Dan Etna is quoted in “Athlete Franchisees Build Fast Food Careers After Sports” which discusses the appeal for athletes in investing in franchises. Dan explains that athletes are routinely pulled into hospitality and entertainment ventures, seeing them as “low-hanging apples on the tree of forbidden fruit” that athletes can’t seem to resist. Dan says that with restaurants, astute athletes see the franchising model as a lower-risk venture—even if franchising limits the individuality they can bring to the business.
Time might be on the side of NBA players
November 22, 2011 -- Sports Business Journal
John Goldman predicts that if labor-related anti-trust litigation between NBA players and the league does not settle, the outcome will not be known for several years. The article says the NBA players may have a stronger case against the league than NFL players would have had against their league. The NBA players' union disbanded, and the players formed a trade association, allowing them to allege that the league violated anti-trust laws.
NFL, union still fighting workers' comp battle
October 31, 2011 -- Sports Business Journal
Irwin Kishner says the NFL appears to be correct in insisting that New Orleans Saints players who signed contracts with clauses that call for them to file workers' compensation claims in Louisiana -- not California -- adhere to the terms of the contract. The dispute is headed for arbitration, with the players hoping to file their claims in the friendlier confines of the California workers' compensation system. This story notes that Irwin wrote an article on this very topic a year ago.
Labor sides find 'deadline' in 8th Circuit ruling
June 20, 2011 -- Sports Business Journal
Analyzing the labor dispute between the NFL and the players' union, John Goldman says the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' stay of a lower-court ruling amounts only to the equivalent of an advisory opinion. John makes his observation in this article, which describes how the two sides are trying to hammer out a new collective-bargaining agreement before the appellate court rules on a key lockout issue.
Judge's decisions on evidence may figure in NFL appeal
May 2, 2011 -- Sports Business Journal
John Goldman says a federal judge's decision to recognize the validity of the NFL players' union's decertification imperils collective bargaining in the professional sports world. He says that fairness to the NFL -- and pro sports leagues in general -- dictates that the union should be held to a higher standard than "simply [saying] 'we don't want to do this.'"
NFL warning sponsors about deals with players trade group
March 27, 2011 -- Sports Business Journal
Barry Werbin says the NFL's and franchises' websites are primarily informational -- and the players public figures -- which means the league is probably on safe ground continuing to use players' likenesses during the lockout. He says he understands the players' ire but says the league's First Amendment rights to disseminate information probably will prevail.
Rogers gets a look at Leafs' books
December 3, 2010 -- The Toronto Star
Irwin Kishner helps examine the possibility that Canadian cable company Rogers Communications, which already owns Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays, would buy a controlling share of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, which owns the NHL's Maple Leafs, NBA's Raptors, a soccer team, a minor league hockey team, and several arenas. He notes that media companies and sports enterprises tend to be a good match, and that locking up a local market is valuable, making a Rogers ownership of MLSE a sensible move.
Poetic ‘wordsmithing’? Teachers’ says it has no ‘firm offer’ for Leafs
December 3, 2010 -- The Toronto Star
A Canadian sports enterprise owner's lukewarm denial that it will sell its holdings -- including teams in the NHL, NBA and professional soccer, and sports venues -- actually reveals little about the owner's plans, Irwin Kishner says. He helps analyze the likelihood that a major Canadian media company is poised to buy one of that nation's premier portfolios of pro sports teams and venues.
Rules To Remember About Investing In Memorabilia
October 18, 2010 -- CNBC.com
Irwin Kishner is quoted in this special section on alternative investing, noting that collectors of sports memorabilia can be divided into two groups: those who collect for the love of the items, and those who collect for possible profit. Among his other observations, Irwin advises the buyers of memorabilia deal with auction houses and other reputable dealers to minimize the chance of fraud, and to be aware of events -- an athlete's death, for instance, or winning a championship -- that could affect the value of some items.
Cuban, Crane want fees on failed Rangers bid
October 11, 2010 -- Sports Business Journal
Gary Eisenberg casts doubt on the likelihood that Mark Cuban and Jim Crane, unsuccessful bankruptcy bidders for the Texas Rangers, will be awarded the aggregate $2.65 million they seek to recover legal fees and other expenses stemming from their failed bid. He says such an award would set a precedent because it would erode creditors' recoveries, which is anathema to bankruptcy court proceedings.
Ready for Action
September 6-12, 2010
Irwin Kishner is quoted in the article "Ready for Action", which appeared in a special New Meadowlands Stadium section of the SportsBusiness Journal. In it, he mentions various projects Herrick's sports law practice is working on, including serving as lead counsel for matters related to the new Yankee Stadium.
Todd DuBoef and the Future of Boxing
June 21, 2010 -- SecondsOut.com
Michael Heitner is quoted at length in this profile of Todd DuBoef, an executive with our client Top Rank, the boxing promoter.
MLB plans to move on Rangers
May 3, 2010 -- Sports Business Journal
On one hand, Major League Baseball wants to see the Texas Rangers sold quickly because the league has been supporting the team's payroll since it defaulted on its loans, Irwin Kishner says. On the other hand, if the creditors force the team into involuntary bankruptcy, the league would lose some of the influence it exerts on the club, creating a quandry for the league, he says.
The Tiger Woods Effect
April 2, 2010 -- Courthouse Confidential -- The NY Times law blog
Scott Mollen discusses his upcoming presentation on how to represent business executives and celebrities who are extortion or blackmail targets, emphasizing that using law enforcement and various investigative techniques can be effective in convincing would-be extortionists and blackmailers to back off.
Team official foresees success for pro soccer in Phila
January 25, 2010 -- Philadelphia Inquirer
An expansion soccer team's ability to sell 9,000 season tickets -- representing half its stadium's capacity -- several months before its inaugural game is a good sign that the team could succeed, Irwin Kishner says in this story about the Philadelphia Union. Our firm's representation of the New York Yankees and other major and minor league franchises is noted in this story, which measured the team's early season ticket sales against the backdrop of a struggling economy.
Cotto, Pacquiao to meet Nov. 14
2009 -- ESPN.com
Michael Heitner is mentioned as Top Rank promoter Bob Arum’s attorney in an article discussing Top Rank's success in finalizing the fight agreement between two of boxing's most popular fighters, Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto. The highly anticipated fight is scheduled to take place in the fall of 2009.
Hicks creditors look for response from NHL
August 17, 2009 -- Sports Business Journal
In a story about how creditors of the Dallas Stars are seeking repayment of loans they made, Irwin Kishner notes that most professional sports leagues' debt policies forbid creditors from taking over franchises in mid-season.
Hicks Sports Group’s Problems Date to Last Summer
April 20, 2009 -- Sports Business Journal
Irwin Kishner is quoted in this article about how the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, before the credit markets imploded, downgraded the debt carried by Hicks Sports Group, signaling that the problems at the financially troubled company predated last month’s loan default.
Despite unrest, Upshaw was still in charge
August 25, 2008 -- Sports Business Journal
Irwin Kishner is quoted in this article on the debate over a successor to NFL Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw. The article focuses on the dispute in the months prior to Upshaw's death.
Dolphins Handoff May Come Quickly
March 3, 2008 -- Sports Business Journal
Michael Kessel is quoted in an article analyzing how owners of professional sports franchises are considering selling now because of a likely upcoming increase in capital gains tax.
Got What It Takes For The ‘Best Job in Sports?'
September 7, 2007 -- Forbes.com
Dan Etna is quoted on the qualities candidates must possess to be considered for CEO positions with professional sports franchises -- in this case, the Green Bay Packers.
Celebrity Endorsement Contracts
August 14, 2007 -- CNBC
Dan Etna appears on CNBC’s “On the Money,” discussing Nike’s suspension of Michael Vick for violating an ethical conduct clause in his contract.
Anatomy of the Bolts Deal
August 8, 2007 -- The Tampa Tribune
Irwin Kishner is quoted in a story that examines the sale of the NHL franchise Tampa Bay Lightning. The story discusses what transpires behind closed doors when buyers and sellers of professional sports franchises negotiate price and terms.
Real Estate Round-Up
July 25, 2007 -- Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Irwin Kisnher is quoted on the regional market for luxury suits at stadiums and arenas, opining that the area would sustain many more than currently exist.
IMG: Company Not Up For Sale
April 23, 2007 -- Sports Business Journal
Irwin Kishner is quoted on private equity's role in the professional sports industry.
Opening Up Their Books
November 6-12, 2006 -- Sports Business Journal
Dan Etna is quoted in the front page article “Opening Up Their Books” on how sports unions have changed the way they report financial information due to new Department of Labor disclosure requirements.
July 16, 2004 -- SecondsOut.com
Mike Heitner is referred to as the "best contract attorney in the business"
Baseball Players' Wills Are Stolen
October 30, 1998 -- Wilmington Delaware News Journal
Irwin Kishner is quoted by Tom Kitchofer in "Baseball Players' Wills Are Stolen" in the Wilmington Delaware News Journal.