Building brand awareness and market activation opportunities through sponsorship and sports marketing presents great opportunities and challenges. Alston & Bird possesses a wealth of experience in the fields of sponsorship and sports marketing, counseling numerous clients on the complex issues that can arise. Our representation includes advising corporate clients on all aspects of sponsorship relationships and sports-oriented transactions; our clients sponsor events, venues, leagues, teams and individual participants and activate a multitude of advertising and promotional opportunities in association with the underlying sponsorship in a variety of marketing channels. Focus areas include sponsorship agreements, naming rights and founding partner agreements, suite license agreements and talent and endorsement deals.
We also serve as counsel to sports sanctioning bodies, such as NASCAR, and licensors of sports and celebrity properties, such as the Bobby Jones family and Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
The Alston & Bird attorneys involved in this practice include members of the firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions Group who bring with them a thorough understanding of the intellectual property concepts that form the basis of any sponsorship transaction, as well as the negotiating and drafting skills to bring that experience to bear. Our marketing attorneys counsel clients in connection with review and response to ambush marketing activities and related promotional matters.
- Negotiated sponsorship agreements for corporate sponsors with entities that include the Olympics, NCAA, NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, United States Golf Association, PGA, PGA European Tour, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, NASCAR and IRL race teams, IMG College and Live Nation, as well as numerous professional sports franchises and university sports programs.
- Negotiated sponsorship agreements with major thoroughbred racing organizations and sponsorship of a “Triple Crown” contending thoroughbred race horse.
- Negotiated major leading-edge agreements for comprehensive sponsorship of college sports properties and college sports conferences.
- Represented the Bobby Jones family with respect to the licensing rights for the development and production of the film, “Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius.”
- Structured and negotiated a wireless distribution agreement of a major sports league’s content for a major telecommunications equipment provider.