Sports & Media

Bass, Berry & Sims represents professional sports organizations, media and technology companies and related businesses in the sports and entertainment world with a full range of legal services tailored to the specific needs of this dynamic industry. The firm’s deep experience in corporate, litigation, intellectual property and public financing matters makes us uniquely positioned to provide strategic, business-minded solutions on critical, high-profile matters.

We represent a variety of professional sports teams from the National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), and Major League Soccer (MLS), as well as various sports leagues, including the National Basketball Association (NBA). Additionally, we represent mass media enterprises, including broadcast television and radio networks, and various sports media technology and marketing companies.

Our comprehensive, multidisciplinary team provides a full range of services, including:

  • Acquisitions and dispositions of professional teams and stadia (including expansion bids).
  • Joint ventures.
  • Antitrust counseling and litigation.
  • Bond and other financing transactions.
  • Bankruptcy and reorganization.
  • General corporate governance.
  • Intellectual property, branding and technology matters and agreements.
  • Rules and regulations of professional sports leagues and amateur associations.
  • Sponsorship and advertising transactions.
  • Large-scale events and entertainment negotiations.
  • Digital and linear content licenses and distribution agreements (including for national and local media rights).

Areas of Focus

  • Professional Sports Advisement

    We represent professional sports franchises and leagues, sporting facilities, strategic business partners, and related businesses in the sports and media world with a full range of legal services tailored to the specific needs of our clients. We counsel ownership groups in the acquisition and disposition of major and minor league sports teams, advise owners in their expansion bids, assist teams and management with change of control transactions and disputes, help teams monetize their brand assets through sponsorship deals and the businesses whose strategic objectives align with these brands, and negotiate contractual agreements.

  • Sports Financing

    We regularly assist both sports organizations and government entities with the multi-million dollar financings of sporting facilities. Our experience includes representing government entities in the bond issuance used to help finance the construction and renovation of a sports venues, including NFL stadiums, multi-purpose arenas, baseball stadiums and convention centers. Additionally, we represent sports organizations in the financing and refinancing of all types of credit facilities, (including term loans, revolving lines of credit and accordions) to support their capital expenditure and working capital needs.

  • Sports Media

    We partner with our sports and media clients in their pursuit of greater audience acquisition and engagement through the negotiation of television and digital media rights agreements, naming rights and other sponsorship transactions, and the numerous contractual obligations associated with staging high-profile sporting and entertainment events. Additionally, we represent clients with respect to intellectual property matters (including the registration and enforcement of trademarks, patents and copyrights) and technology agreements, including for emerging technologies such as augmented reality and chat platforms. Our experience in marketing and advertising law allows us to provide counsel to clients on high-profile marketing campaigns and customer rewards programs (including for consumer sweepstakes and contests), as well as to advise on the collection and protection of customer data and best practices for privacy policies of websites and mobile applications.

Marc E. Ackerman
Martha B. Allard
Audrey J. Anderson
Jaime L. Barwig
Lillian M. Blackshear
Robert L. Brewer
Timothy J. Browne
Curtis Capeling
Leslie M. Ford
John L. Fuller
R. Dale Grimes
Paul G. Jennings
Jeffrey A. Oldham
J. Paul Singleton
Michael D. Sontag
W. Benjamin Tarpley