- areas of expertise
From the NHL to professional athletes, sports representation has been a part of the Frankfurt Kurnit culture for decades. And when it comes to combining sports, media and entertainment – few firms can help you reach your goals like we can.
Frankfurt Kurnit’s Sports Group represents a wide variety of clients, including leagues, teams, international governing bodies, and other rights holders; leading corporate sponsors, sports brands, marketing agencies and content distributors; and well-known athletes, coaches, sportscasters, sportswriters, executives and management companies. Our representative clients include the National Hockey League, which we advise on worldwide brand development and management, merchandising and branding, entertainment and marketing, and protection and enforcement of its IP – and the IP of its 31 teams. We advise leading footwear and apparel companies, the preeminent sports beverage brand, a global credit card and payment provider, several beer and spirits brands, consumer products brands, and a global QSR brand on their sports marketing, endorsement, branding, naming rights, and advertising initiatives. We counsel high-profile athletes – NBA champions, World Cup winners, and Olympic medalists – on a wide range of matters, including their off-the-field activities in media and entertainment. We also represent numerous producers of Super Bowl and other premiere sports event advertisements – and the Armory Track and Field Center, home of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.
Activate Sponsorships and Related Marketing Campaigns
We advise both sponsors and sports properties on the structure and negotiation of sponsorship and endorsement arrangements, and we help develop and clear the related marketing campaigns, including those for the Olympics, World Cup, and Super Bowl. We have worked on projects totalling more than $1 billion in value.
Develop and Protect Sports Brands
We advise sports brands and other intellectual property holders on worldwide brand development, creation of branding strategies, and licensing and protection of intellectual property. We also develop and protect trademarks, publicity rights, and other intellectual property rights, and supervise client licensing programs.
Power Consumer Brands
Few forms of entertainment can stir consumers to action the way sports can, and we counsel corporate sponsors seeking to align their marketing campaigns with high-profile sports properties and athletes. For example, we advise a global QSR, a global credit card and payment provider, and several beer and spirits brands on their agreements with dozens of professional teams, athletes, media channels, and arenas.
Negotiate Individual Athlete Agreements
We help individual athletes with their off-the-field activities, such as endorsements, including shoe and apparel endorsements, investments in ancillary businesses, and charitable initiatives, and we negotiate and structure acting, producing, podcasting, broadcasting, public appearance, speaking engagement and other agreements. We have also assisted soccer players with transfer agreements.
Structure Television and Other Media Distribution Deals
We negotiate and implement media arrangements for both traditional and new media platforms – including livestreaming and on-demand. We help clients structure content acquisition, distribution, development, production and other critical agreements.
Review and Clear Programming
We vet sports entertainment and commercial programming for producers, distributors, writers, agencies, and brands, and we recommend edits that help reduce the risk of infringement and other legal liability.
We regularly advise on sweepstakes, skill contests, giveaways, coupons, rebates, and other promotions.
Advance “Cause” Marketing Initiatives
We advise our sports industry clients on ways to create marketing campaigns that support charitable causes – burnishing their brand image while boosting sales.
Negotiate Employment Contracts
Our attorneys use their relationships and knowledge of industry customs to negotiate and structure competitive employment contracts for executives, athletes, and other sports industry professionals. And we help brands, agencies, and producers follow certain labor rules and contracts (such as those of SAG-AFTRA).
Working with our Litigation Group, our Sports Group resolves intellectual property, licensing, and other sports industry disputes.
Preserve and Manage Wealth
Our Estate Planning and Charitable Organizations Groups can help individual sports industry clients set up tax-efficient estate plans and meet their philanthropic goals. Our Charitable Organizations Group can help establish and continue to advise and support different types of charitable organizations, as well as assist in connection with charitable donations, cause marketing, and other philanthropic programs and efforts.
Frankfurt Kurnit Advantage
Our long experience in the media, entertainment, and advertising industries benefits sports clients and brands seeking to exploit entertainment, sponsorship, merchandising, and other ancillary revenue opportunities. We understand the sensibilities of celebrities and high-end talent, and we work collaboratively with other athlete representatives, such as wealth managers, agencies, and management companies. We are well-known in the industry – regularly speaking at leading sports and entertainment law conferences and quoted in leading publications, such as Sports Business Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Associated Press, on various sports law issues. Our deep bench of lawyers with intimate industry experience enables us to service a high volume of work in various areas – making us valuable to all sports industry constituents.