Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the North American sports market was forecasted to top $75 billion in 2020. So when positive coronavirus cases began ballooning back in March and sports franchises halted their seasons, the multi-billion-dollar industry was turned upside down, and fans were dealt a blow that left a significant void in their daily lives.
As discussions on reopening are happening across the nation, the possibility of sports coming back into our lives is getting closer, but with that come obstacles.
Phillip Greer, CEO of Best Lawyers, moderates a panel of three thought leaders to discuss legal challenges sports franchises will face as we look ahead to reopening.
Bob Wallace, Jr.
Partner, Thompson Coburn
St. Louis, MO
Recognized by Best Lawyers in Sports Law since the 21st Edition
As chairman of the firm's Sports Law Group, Bob represents teams, prospective buyers of sports teams, companies interested in sports marketing, and civic and government entities facing team relocation or facility issues. He also assists players, coaches, and executives with contract negotiations and separation agreements and serves as an NFL-approved hearing officer for violations of the league's drug and conduct policies. Bob has cultivated more than 30 years of experience in both the St. Louis business community and the national sports arena through his past executive and legal work for the Philadelphia Eagles and the St. Louis Cardinals.
James D. Leonard
Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath
Recognized by Best Lawyers in Sports Law and Entertainment Law since the 13th Edition and Corporate Law since the 20th Edition
Jim is a member of the firm’s corporate and intellectual property groups and a leader of the firm’s Sports and Entertainment Practice. He has extensive experience in representing professional teams, leagues, Olympic national governing bodies, sports properties and events, cities and sponsors in a broad range of matters, including stadium, facility and event development and operation, sponsorships, naming rights, contracting, intellectual property management and licensing, and mergers and acquisitions. Jim understands the unique practical, business, and legal needs of the participants in the complex and interconnected sports world, and his work with those varied interests helps bring effective solutions to his clients.
Maurice M. Suh
Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Los Angeles, CA
Recognized by Best Lawyers in Criminal Defense: White-Collar Law since the 16th Edition and Criminal Defense: White-Collar - Litigation since the 17th Edition
Maurice is the co-chair of the firm’s Sports Law Practice Group. Maurice has represented elite athletes in landmark cases involving the use of anabolic steroids and related issues before arbitration panels in both the United States arbitral system for Olympic movement sport and the International Court for Arbitration of Sport. He has further advised top sports teams, agents, and race organizers in matters related to sponsorship and employment issues, as well as strategic planning.