Travis J. Leach, a Business and Finance partner and co-leader of Ballard Spahr’s sports industry practice, has contributed a chapter on the growing corporate influence in both amateur and professional sports to Understanding Sports Law, a new book published by Aspatore Books, a Thomson Reuters business.His chapter, “Wide World of Sports Law: Keeping up with the Corporate Takeover of Sports,” addresses how the world of sports has transformed dramatically over the years.
“We’ve seen a big shift in team ownership,” said Leach, who is based in the law firm’s Phoenix office. “Historically, teams were small, family-run operations. Because of the continued growth in revenue in college and professional sports, sports organizations are becoming more structured and run like successful corporations.”
The 154-page book is part of the Inside the Minds™ series. It provides legal insights on all aspects of client representation to assist teams and athletes as they consider contracts and estate planning, seek to protect trademarks, and face civil or criminal litigation matters. The eight-chapter book addresses topics such as current laws governing sports organizations and their athletes and employees, intellectual property law in sports, and strategies for representing clients. One of the key takeaways from Leach’s chapter is, “Organizations have realized that with the increasing revenues, they must incorporate policies and programs to ensure governance and best practices. This will limit potential exposure in a number of areas, including areas of workplace harassment and wage and hour issues, which have received a lot of attention lately.”
Said Leach, “Our experience working with clients in our sports practice—where we represent them in contracts, endorsements, financing, litigation disputes and naming rights—keeps us attuned to what is happening in the marketplace. This book is a good resource for professional and amateur teams and athletes, university athletic departments, owners, investors, coaches, equipment manufacturers and other sports-related entities.”
Ballard Spahr LLP, a national law firm with more than 500 lawyers in 14 offices in the United States, provides a range of services in litigation, business and finance, real estate, intellectual property, and public finance. Our clients include Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, life sciences and technology companies, health systems, investors and developers, government agencies and sponsored enterprises, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations. The firm combines a national scope of practice with strong regional market knowledge.