Sports & esports

Sports & esports

Crefovi has an ‟Sports & esports” industry group. This team is the adviser of choice for sportspeople, players & esports players, managers, coaches, sponsors, brands, governing bodies, sports clubs, sports federations & associations, sports rights owners, on all legal issues connected with sports & esports.

Understanding the complexities of a global industry

Both on and off the field of play, those involved in the sports & esports industry have seen many changes in the last twenty years, with increasing opportunities from the exploitation of commercial rights to the challenges of ever increasing regulation, and media interest in all those who participate in sports & esports.

Our dedicated team of sports & esports lawyers has represented some of the biggest names across all sports & esports, throughout this time, and remains at the cutting edge of sports & esports law – innovating with creative sponsorship deals, establishing and enforcing rules and regulations, negotiating rights across new channels and representing elite athletes facing new challenges and opportunities arising from changes to technology.

Our strength lies in the fact that we understand the sports & esports industry from both a legal and a commercial perspective. This allows us to give the best possible advice to our clients who include governing bodies, sports rights owners, sponsors, teams individual sports personalities and player associations.

Esports

Esports is now a hugely popular, and increasingly mainstream, form of entertainment in the United Kingdom and throughout the world. Given recent heavy investment into esports organisations, tournaments and platforms, and with the financial rewards available for professional gamers and audience viewing figures at an all-time high, there are undoubtedly significant opportunities for existing stakeholders within esports, as well as the next generation of players and potential sponsors and investors who are looking to get a foothold within this fast-growing industry.

We pride ourselves on being a full-service firm with one of the leading sports and interactive entertainment practices in Europe and we represent some of the biggest names in esports, as well as exciting start-ups and fledgling esports organisations. Our aim is to demystify the complex regulatory and governance issues affecting esports, and to provide strategic, commercial advice and user-friendly agreements to help our clients achieve their objectives.

As the popularity of esports continues to grow, and consolidation (and potentially regulation) within the currently fragmented industry makes the esports scene easier to navigate, commercial opportunities in this space will grow in parallel. In particular the value, complexity and sophistication of brand partnerships within esports is likely to increase significantly. Our extensive experience advising on some of the most significant sponsorships in the sports and entertainment industries, and in connection with other forms of entertainment, ensures that we are well positioned to advise both sponsors and rights-holders on how best to protect their position and get value from their partnerships.

What we do in respect of sports & esports

Our Sports & esports team is proud to offer a complete sports law advice service. We are one of the few law firms, in the United Kingdom, able to do this and we have worked hard to build a team of lawyers who have the expertise and specialist knowledge to work across the whole spectrum of sports & esports law.

Our clients come to us for help and advice with buying and selling clubs, corporate Mergers & Acquisitions, governance, restructuring, as well as financing and insolvency issues.

We also have an expert team of litigators who can support our clients through the dispute resolution process, including disputes between players, managers and agents, as well as disciplinary matters, Rule K arbitration and EFL arbitration. Our Sports & esports lawyers will give clients pragmatic answers that will support them with their immediate commercial considerations, as well as their long-term strategic aims.

If clients are facing sports & esports employment or immigration issues, we have a wealth of experience helping clients with: manager or head coach and playing staff contracts, player- and manager-related disputes and arbitration/litigation, managers’ arbitration tribunals, esports player contracts, sponsor licences and governing body endorsements.

Our team can guide sports & esports clients through the complex and innovative world of sponsorship and partnership agreements, kit supply, blockchain, image rights, catering, event staging and ticketing arrangements, content creation and merchandising. We have a huge amount of experience advising organisations on their day-to-day business relationships, so we understand the pressures that come with this kind of environment and we will work as an extension of our clients’ team – whether that’s for a one-off transaction, or the start of an ongoing relationship.

A multidisciplinary approach

Sports & esports law firm Crefovi represents its clients in matters involving:

  • Sports lending and finance;
  • Sports clubs’ buying and selling, as well as purchase loans;
  • Mergers & acquisitions;
  • Due diligence;
  • Governance;
  • Restructuring as well as insolvency issues;
  • Dispute resolution in cases of anti-doping, equestrian disputes, football disputes, disputes between players, managers and agents, as well as disciplinary matters, Rule K arbitration and EFL arbitration;
  • Tax issues and tax planning;
  • Sports & esports related aspects of estate, wills and trusts;
  • Employment issues, in particular on manager or head coach or playing staff contracts, as well as transfer processes;
  • Esports player contracts;
  • Immigration issues;
  • Creation, management and dissolution of sports clubs, federations and other sports & esports structures;
  • Exploitation and protection of intellectual property;
  • Sponsorship and licensing agreements;
  • Image rights contracts;
  • Reputation protection;
  • Sports insurance;
  • Advertising and marketing regulations, and
  • Ticketing, hospitality and merchandising.

A global network

While London and Paris based, we routinely work across borders. The vast majority of our engagements are multi-jurisdictional. We are used to working in multinational teams, and rely on our network of specialist lawyers for support in other jurisdictions.

The team has therefore established an extensive international network of art world contacts and a close association with other specialist art lawyers worldwide. Our history of successes in high profile, politically sensitive matters reflects an ability to act swiftly and with the utmost discretion.


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