The Sports Practice Area has a long history representing sports interests in our region and beyond, including teams, facility owners, and professional athletes. We deal with facilities, team structuring and financing, sponsorship and marketing, relationships with patrons, suppliers and athletes, labor relations, workers' compensation, sanctioning by governing bodies, vicarious liability to players, patrons and others, and antitrust issues. We also know the major sports service providers and call upon them to support our clients' success.
Representative clients and a description of work we have done for them follow:
We represent the Cincinnati Bengals generally and have done so since the team was first founded in 1967. We have been involved in all aspects of its corporate structure, litigation including class action representation and antitrust issues, tax, labor relations, workers' compensation, facility development and contracts with athletes, ticketholders, advertisers, sponsors and suppliers. That activity included the development, design, and construction of Paul Brown Stadium, which opened on the riverfront in Cincinnati in 2000.
Western & Southern Open Tennis Tournament
We represent Cincinnati Tennis LLC, which owns and operates the Western and Southern Open, a combined event bringing the world's best men and women players to Cincinnati each August. We also represent Tennis for Charity, a non-profit organization that owns the facility where the tournament is played. Over the years, we have been involved in every aspect of the event including structure and ownership, the relationships between the tournaments and the sanctioning bodies, international licensing agreements, sponsorship and advertising contracts, facility development and financing, and other related matters.
We act as outside counsel to the Columbus Clippers, AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. In this capacity, we have assisted them in financing and construction of the new Huntington Ballpark, as well as in intellectual property matters, labor and employment issues, and other general legal matters.
U.S. Bank Arena
We represent on a general basis this sports and events facility located in downtown Cincinnati. We have been involved in a variety of matters ranging from construction, site and access issues, to tenant relations including litigation and potential litigation with sports team tenants.
Our attorneys are regularly called upon by the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, and Case Western Reserve University for sports-related matters both large and small. Prior to our current representation of the University of Cincinnati, we represented the NCAA when it was sued by the University of Cincinnati in connection with a potential downgrade of the University's athletic status.
We also represented, on a general basis, the Greater Cincinnati Sports and Convention Commission, which worked to bring both amateur and professional sports events to venues in Cincinnati.
Our attorneys are experienced with golf course development and the representation of developers, golf course architects and professional golfers. One of our partners serves as corporate counsel to the Professional Golfers Association of America-Indiana Section, the Indiana Golf Association, Inc., and the Indiana Golf Foundation. He has represented the host club in contract negotiations for the following national and international golf championships:
- 1991 PGA Championship
- 2005 Solheim Cup
- 2007 U.S.G.A. Women's Amateur Championship
- 2009 U.S.G.A. Senior Open Championship
Periodically, other sports entities have called upon our expertise for special representation including:
- Commissioner of Major League Baseball
- National Football League
- International Speedway Corporation
- Cincinnati Reds
- Cleveland Browns
- Ladies Professional Golf Association
- Dayton Dragons (baseball team)
- Greater Cincinnati Indoor Tennis Association
- NCAA (on intellectual property matters)
- Pete Rose (in litigation against Major League Baseball)
- Various other professional athletes
Attorneys with the firm have gone on to take significant positions with professional sports teams and sanctioning organizations, including the Executive Vice President and the Vice President for Business Development of the Cincinnati Bengals, the former Executive Vice President and General Manager of the New York Mets, two former Commissioners of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, and the former Deputy Commissioner of the LPGA.