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PROFESSIONAL SPORTS TEAMS AND LEAGUES

General counsel for professional sports teams and leagues need experienced outside attorneys who can get the deal done. Thompson Coburn can provide attorneys across a variety of practice areas who do just that.

Our attorneys have led legal work on a variety of matters at the professional sports level, from stadium finance to trademark litigation. They understand that teams need solution-focused attorneys who can not only identify problems but craft legal strategies that reach a team’s desired result with minimal conflict among the parties.

As a full-service law firm, we can supplement the skills of your in-house legal team and fill in any experience gaps, providing top-quality legal services at the great value that only a Midwest-based firm can offer. Our attorneys embrace an open, collaborative approach to problem-solving that minimizes costly delays for our clients.

Whatever a team’s goal — an extended stadium lease, a new coaching contract, a lucrative advertising deal — Thompson Coburn can provide the legal experience and exceptional client service needed to achieve it.

Leases/vendor agreements

Thompson Coburn can provide critical reviews of the many agreements and contracts a team maintains with its vendors, including those for concessions, merchandise, security, media broadcast rights and parking facilities. Perhaps most important is a team’s stadium lease, and our attorneys can negotiate or renegotiate stadium leases.

Stadium finance

Thompson Coburn maintains one of the largest public finances practices in the Midwest. The firm has more than 30 years of experience in public and private financing projects related to the acquisition, construction, and improvement of most of St. Louis’ professional sports facilities, including Busch Stadium, the Edward Jones Dome and the Scottrade Center.

Our award-winning public finance attorneys can act as bond counsel, issuer’s counsel, underwriter’s counsel, special counsel, or represent a credit enhancer in sports venue transactions.

Labor & Employment/ Immigration

Thompson Coburn can assistant pro teams with all manner of labor and employment needs, including background checks and hiring practices, discipline and discharges, safety and OSHA issues, and sexual harassment investigations.

Our labor and employment attorneys also review handbooks and policies to ensure teams are in compliance with all federal, state and local labor laws. They also draft employment agreements, non-disclosure agreements and non-compete agreements.

For any teams needing assistance on immigration issues, our attorneys can offer responsive, highly personalized immigration advice and ensure the smooth transition of any international players, coaches or staff.

Stadium naming rights

Our tax, public finance, and corporate attorneys can assist facility owners, teams or sponsors with naming rights transactions and major corporate sponsorship deals, crafting agreements that meet an owner’s or team’s funding needs and satisfy the priorities of sponsors.

Franchise relocation

Our attorneys have experience with the myriad legal considerations any team faces when considering or attempting a relocation, and have the savvy negotiation skills needed to accomplish a team’s business goals and help it plan for the future.

Copyright/trademark/counterfeit goods

Teams can protect and enhance the value of their brands with the counsel of our experienced intellectual property attorneys. We provide patent protection and enforcement in the U.S. and overseas markets for brand names, team names, trademarks, web domains and more. Our attorneys have helped global companies manage and enforce large trademark portfolios, and can also assist with any licensing negotiations.

Anti-Counterfeiting Efforts

More than ever, professional teams are dealing with the increasing problem of counterfeit sports merchandise. Our IP attorneys have extensive experience on the front and back end of anti-counterfeiting efforts.

On the front end, our attorneys can draft and negotiate contracts with overseas manufacturers that ensure a client can, should infringement occur, enforce its rights in a foreign legal system. If counterfeit goods do trickle into the United States, we can create a custom program that enlists the assistance of U.S. Customs agents in rooting out and blocking the entry of the offending products. But good enforcement efforts can start much closer to the source: Our firm’s strong connections with Chinese law firms and investigators help us quickly pinpoint and respond to counterfeiting efforts at manufacturing hubs across China.

We can act just as swiftly when a company suspects a U.S.-based counterfeiting operation is distributing infringing goods, perhaps spurred into production by a major sporting event or finals game.

Vigilant trademark enforcement can be a smart — and revenue-increasing — investment for professional sports teams. Our intellectual property attorneys can develop successful strategies to respond to counterfeiters around the globe.

Business litigation

Should teams need to pursue or respond to litigation, Thompson Coburn’s nationwide litigation practice can respond with the strength and quality that has garnered trial wins in precedent-setting cases, in notoriously plaintiff-friendly venues and for a diverse roster of Fortune 500 companies. For teams facing trademark infringement, commercial disputes, or suits related to the hot topic of concussions and on-field injuries, our litigators will pursue the desired outcome in a focused, methodical manner that is consistent with our clients’ business goals and strategic objectives.

Chambers USA gives Thompson Coburn top rankings, calling us a “flagship litigation group” with “an array of regional and national giants on its client roster…drawn by the group’s remarkable track record.”

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Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6455

Cherie represents financial institutions and borrowers in various secured and unsecured lending transactions.

Cherie represents financial institutions and borrowers in various secured a...

Cherie Bock
Partner
Los Angeles
310 282 9432

Vicky is a versatile commercial finance attorney who represents banks, investors, and borrowers in a wide variety of financing transactions and investments.

Vicky is a versatile commercial finance attorney who represents banks, inve...

Vicky Gilbert
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6065

Sara is a trusted legal advisor to public entities, nonprofit borrowers, investment bankers and bankers in a wide variety of public financing and lending transactions.

Sara is a trusted legal advisor to public entities, nonprofit borrowers, in...

Sara Kotthoff
Partner
Chicago
312 580 2242

Litigation can be a chess match or a street fight: Rob has the skills and experience needed to navigate either approach.

Litigation can be a chess match or a street fight: Rob has the skills and e...

Rob Lang
Partner
Washington, D.C.
202 585 6904

Ken has spent his entire legal career in the public and private sectors in Washington, DC and has a thorough understanding and appreciation of how lobbying can advance cl...

Ken has spent his entire legal career in the public and private sectors in ...

Ken Salomon
Partner
Chicago
312 580 2202

Rhonda is a finance attorney who leads complex, large-scale projects for public- and private-sector clients across the country.

Rhonda is a finance attorney who leads complex, large-scale projects for pu...

Rhonda Thomas
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6509

As chairman of the firm's Sports Law Group, Bob represents teams, prospective buyers of sports teams, companies interested in sports marketing and civic and government en...

As chairman of the firm's Sports Law Group, Bob represents teams, prospecti...

Bob Wallace, Jr.