Find Lawyers in Cologne, Germany for Sports Law

Sports Law - Cologne, Germany

About this Practice Area
Related Practice Areas: Advertising Law, Litigation, Media Law
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Sports Law Definition

Sports represent an essential part of the entertainment industry worldwide. Very few if any other entertainment content relates to such strong emotions. Thus, live-content is traded at enormous value. 

For Sports Law, digitalization is trendsetting, not only with regards to the distribution of sports-content but also with regards to sports-content itself. New distribution channels and opportunities allow the intense promotion of mainstream sports as well as niche sports disciplines with – until now – marginal existence. Digital technology also enables a huge variety of advertising methods, such as virtual advertising and all forms of online advertising. And, last but not least, digitalization even results in the emergence of fast-growing new sports disciplines, such as e-sports.

Players in the sports market and clients in the field of sports law are professional sports clubs, tournament organizers, sports associations, athletes, broadcasting, and media companies acquiring and exploiting sports content, production companies, sponsors and many more.

Sustainable advice in Sports Law comprehends, inter alia, the development and negotiation of agreements, such as license agreements with rights holders (clubs, athletes), intermediaries (e.g. sports associations, production companies) and exploiting businesses (broadcasting companies, media services), but also employment agreements for athletes, marketing, advertising and sponsor agreements. Legal support in emerging business models and projects plays an important role as well as, representing clients from the sports sector in and out of court.

Several law areas are of particular relevance in Sports Law. Rights in sports events in Germany are deduced from the domiciliary right of the organizer, who has the power to link access to the event to certain conditions – for example, to forbid moving image productions in a stadium, except when expressly licensed. For the first and second national soccer leagues (Bundesliga), these rights are bundled and promoted centrally and under strict official requirements by the German Football League (DFL). 

Overall, next to civil law and in particular contract law, a high expertise with personal rights (e.g. concerning person images) and intellectual property rights (e.g. with regards to moving pictures, music, and photography) is required. Furthermore, questions of antitrust law, unfair competition law, media law, broadcasting law and advertising law are needed just the same as an intense knowledge of the rules and functioning of sports associations and federations. Thereby, regulatory stipulations affecting the sports market are a common field of activity for sports lawyers. Attorneys, for instance, also assist their clients in verifying the need for and the gaining of a broadcasting license for standalone sports broadcasts. 

Not rarely, mandates in Sports Law have international reference and significance. They might concern international player-transfers, advice concerning international sports federations and sports jurisdictions, rights acquisitions and international exploitation of sports rights as well as the multi-territorial expansion of diverse sports services or the global phenomenon of e-sports.
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