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Sports Law Definition
While very few statutes and regulations are specifically targeted toward sports, sports law is a very real legal discipline, both multi-faceted and extremely specialized. Whether the focus is on amateur or professional sports, there is an acute need for legal advice and negotiation skills in this important industry. Sports law requires its practitioners to stay abreast of a quickly evolving universe.
Sports law is a composite of numerous other legal disciplines: labour and employment law, an area fuelled by the substantial salaries drawn by professional athletes; business and corporate law, providing the framework for the organization of clubs, leagues, and associations; competition and antitrust, to regulate the monopolies and restrictive covenants required to protect the industry; media and communications, an essential element of the complex, long-term agreements between sports leagues and media organizations; intellectual property, particularly trade-marks, protecting the valuable brands of teams and athletes; merchandising and licensing, leveraging these brands into revenues; marketing and advertising, regulating inter alia the activities of sponsors of sports events and clubs; public law and government relations, given the increasing involvement of authorities in the construction and operation of sports venues; and estate planning, asset management, and taxation, indispensable elements of any high-stake activity. All these aspects frequently involve an international focus.
Clients can be individual amateur or professional athletes, leagues, and organizational bodies, teams and clubs, broadcasters, ticket-selling agencies, manufacturers and distributors of sports-related apparel and equipment, as well as governments, schools and colleges, and public authorities.
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