Sports & Compliance Law

VW represents professional teams, universities, and other sports enterprises on general corporate matters and is experienced working with colleges and universities, coaches, and athletes on a variety of regulatory issues impacting intercollegiate athletics, including NCAA infractions and compliance matters and Title IX.

In-House Support

At Vela Wood, we help a wide range of sports enterprises, including organizations in the NFL and NBA, governing bodies, and universities, to support their in-house legal teams and other business units with drafting and negotiating various types of commercial agreements, providing legal and compliance counsel on promotional, ticketing, and marketing-related issues, and other day-to-day legal issues.

Commercial Agreements

Here is a sampling of the agreements we have drafted on behalf of professional sports franchises, universities, and governing bodies.

  • Sponsorship Agreements
  • Software and Technology Licenses
  • Music and IP Use Agreements
  • Artist Agreements
  • Service Agreements
  • Stadium and Venue Use Agreements
  • Transportation and Parking Agreements
  • Sales Agreements
  • Purchase Agreements
  • Publishing Agreements
  • SaaS Agreements
  • Appearance Agreements
  • Membership Agreements
  • Non-disclosure Agreements
  • Reality Show Production Agreements
  • Subscription Agreements
  • Work for Hire Agreements
  • Employment Agreements
  • Liability Waivers

We have worked with sports enterprises on drafting template ticketing agreements in addition to handling short-term issues such as COVID-19 amendments. Some of the ticketing agreements we have handled include:

  • Premium Seat Licenses
  • Suite Licenses
  • Group Ticketing
  • Super Bowl Ticket Lottery
Promotions and Marketing

We help sports enterprises navigate complex legal and regulatory issues relating to various types of fan and community engagement initiatives. You can find a sampling of our work below.

  • Contests
  • Sweepstakes
  • Raffles
  • Giveaways
  • FTP Games
  • Text Message Campaigns/TCPA compliance
  • Data Collection Procedures
  • Data Privacy and Security
  • Fan Activations
  • Community Programming

College Sports Compliance

VW is experienced working with colleges and universities, coaches, and athletes on a variety of regulatory issues impacting intercollegiate athletics, including NCAA infractions and compliance matters and Title IX. We are also well-positioned to assist athletes exercise and manage their name, image, and likeness rights once legislation is passed.

NCAA Infractions and Compliance

Our attorneys have worked with NCAA members in all three Divisions along with numerous head coaches. Our work ranges from conducting infractions investigations, representing institutions in front of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions, and handling summary disposition negotiations to helping institutions and coaches proactively to prevent lack of institutional control and head coach monitoring violations.

Title IX

The individual experiences of our team as college athletes, coaches, administrators, and university counsel allows us to bring a unique combination of knowledge, skill, and experience when assessing Title IX compliance and gender equity culture on campus. We have experience conducting comprehensive audits at NCAA Division I, II and III institutions relating to participation, scholarships, and treatment, guiding institutions through gender equity improvement planning, and providing legal guidance on issues such as adding or eliminating sports, roster management, tiering, NIL rights, and eSports.

Athlete Rights

We have assisted numerous athletes restore their eligibility through legislative relief waivers and the reinstatement process. We have also successfully represented student-athletes in matters against their own institutions. Our work on behalf of student-athletes includes the following types of cases.

  • Scholarship Cancellation or Reductions
  • Transfer Cases
  • Legislative Relief Waivers
  • Initial Eligibility Waivers
  • Eligibility Extensions
  • Progress-Towards-Degree Waivers
  • Student-Athlete Reinstatement
  • Drug Test Appeals
  • Hazing, Harassment and Improper Coach Conduct

Sports and Entertainment

Athlete & Talent Representation

Our attorneys can represent athletes in every major professional organization.

Sports & Entertainment Ventures

Our current client roster includes sports related companies focused on player training tools, data analytics, artificial intelligence, electronics for athletes, daily fantasy sports, and gaming.

Post-Career Strategic Business Counseling

We understand that for many athletes, their playing career is a finite phase that launches a business career afterwards. Making wise investment and business decisions can be difficult, especially with the unique influences and pressures that athletes typically face. At VW, we understand these dynamics and pride ourselves in helping our clients transform the work ethic and discipline learned on the playing field to success in the board room.

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