Sports and Entertainment

We help clients develop and implement strategic career and financial game plans.

Our rapidly expanding national Sports and Entertainment practice represents a diverse group of coaches and athletic directors at NCAA member institutions, professional franchise coaches, and other sports figures and entertainers. We collaborate with clients and their agents, accountants, and financial and other key advisors to create comprehensive career and financial plans. After identifying the strategies that can help clients achieve their goals, we work to ensure they are properly implemented. 

These clients call on our multidisciplinary team of experienced lawyers for advice and assistance on the entire spectrum of sports- and entertainment-related challenges. We regularly counsel clients on issues involving contract and commercial law, immigration, civil litigation, labor and employment, deferred compensation and employee benefit plans, business organizations and transactions, real estate, federal and state taxation, public law, estate planning and probate, intellectual property, and charitable tax-exempt organizations. In addition, we advise education clients on Title IX issues, including those that touch on gender equity in athletics.

We also have extensive experience representing public and private owners of arena, ballpark, and theatre venues in matters such as taxable and tax-exempt financing, team leases of facilities, structuring of public-private joint ventures, federal and state tax issues, naming rights agreements, and public bidding issues.

Our Clients

  • Professional athletes and other entertainers
  • Football, basketball, hockey, and baseball head and assistant coaches in college programs nationwide
  • Coaches of professional sports franchises
  • College and university athletic directors 
  • Conference commissioners
  • Conferences
  • Educational institutions and athletic departments
  • Public and private owners of arena, ballpark, and theater venues

Our Services

  • Negotiation, drafting, and review of employment agreements
  • Structuring current and deferred compensation packages, including value-added compensation strategies to reward key staff and assistant coaches
  • Negotiation, drafting, and review of licensing, endorsement, marketing, and publishing agreements
  • Advice regarding legal aspects of the organization and operation of summer sports camps as well as other commercial and business endeavors
  • Advice regarding rights of privacy and publicity
  • Advice and protection related to branding and intangible assets, including the evaluation, registration, and maintenance of trademarks and copyrights and the enforcement and defense of related rights
  • Personal and family estate and income tax planning
  • Charitable/philanthropic activities, including formation and operation of private family foundations
  • Due diligence and structuring in connection with our clients’ participation in outside business ventures and investments
  • Advocacy and representation in disputes or investigations
  • Title IX athletic compliance
  • Comprehensive training programs, including diversity training, for coaches and administrators
  • Defense of internal and external complaints, investigations, and other employment-related issues
  • Immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for athletes, entertainers, and other industry professionals
  • Assisting public and private owners of arena, ballpark, and theater venues with tax-exempt financing, team leases of facilities, structuring of public-private joint ventures, federal and state tax issues, naming rights agreements, and public bidding issues

News Releases


09.05.2018Trial in Landmark Student-Athlete Compensation Case Gets Underway
08.08.2018New Amendments to FIFA RSTP Regulations
07.27.2018Best Practices for Combating Student Athlete Mental Health Concerns
12.14.2017Handicapping Christie v. NCAA: How will the Supreme Court Vote on PASPA?
11.08.2017Reform the Federal Sports Betting Excise Tax "Dilemma"
09.06.2017Title IX Compliance: NCAA Adopts Sexual Violence Prevention Policy
06.21.2017Making Sense of College Coaching Contracts
03.24.2017Supreme Court Finds Cheerleading Uniforms Copyrightable in Landmark Apparel Copyright Case
02.02.2017Why Roger Goodell Might Be Glad The Super Bowl Is Not Competing With An eSports Event … Yet
12.05.2016Best Practices for Collegiate Coaches Regarding Title IX
11.16.2016Title IX Enforcement: Potential Changes for Schools and Universities
10.11.2016Shaw Serves as Panelist at NACWAA 2016 Rally
10.05.2016O'Bannon's End: Supreme Court Rejects Appellate Review
09.26.2016SB356: Senator Coley Proposes Daily Fantasy Sports Contest Legislation
09.08.2016Athletics Leadership and LGBTQ: Suggested Best Practices and Guiding Principles
09.01.2016Scandals, Investigations, and Media Scrutiny - The Need for Proactive Policies and Procedures in Athletics Departments
06.01.2016O'Bannon Update: NCAA and O'Bannon seek Supreme Court review
05.16.2016Hedging Coaching Staff Bonuses
03.25.2016Sports Law Attorney Joins Shumaker's Toledo Office
03.21.2016Recent Changes to the Trade Embargo May Facilitate Cuban Baseball Players Being Able to Legally Play for MLB Teams
03.17.2016March Madness and March Sadness - Postseason Bans End Season Prematurely for Seniors
02.17.2016Keeping it Clean in Houston: Hosting Major Sporting Events and Clean Zone Ordinances
01.25.2016The Buck Stops Here: Head Coach Responsibility and Guidelines from the Boeheim Case
12.14.2015The Confusion of Title IX and College Coaches Pay Gap
12.03.2015About the Author: Dana Drew Shaw
11.06.2015Student-Athlete Benefits - the Insurance Component
10.07.2015White Paper: Why Daily Fantasy Sports Needs Regulation to Survive
10.01.2015O'Bannon Opinion - A Mixed Message to the World of College Sports
09.17.2015College Football Coaches Are A Great Public Investment
08.28.20153d Cir. Requires States to Go "All In" to Establish Legal Sports Gambling Outside Nevada
08.18.2015Graduate Transfer Rule - College Athletics Version of Free-Agency
07.30.2015O'Bannon Update: Plaintiff's Arguments Against Stay of Injunction
07.21.2015O'Bannon Update: NCAA seeks stay of District Court injunction that would take effect August 1
07.15.2015O'Bannon v. NCAA: Practical Considerations for New Pay-for-Play Rules (Part Two)
06.25.2015The Potential for New Technology to Help Objectivity in Officiating and Reduce Referee Error
06.15.2015Still Waiting. . .O'Bannon v. NCAA: How did we get here? (Part One)
05.13.2015Recent Litigation Shows Buyout Clauses Don't Always Provide Certainty as Designed
04.17.2015The Coaching Carousel - Men's Basketball Trends and Title IX Concerns in Women's Basketball
04.03.2015Extra Benefits: The Family Travel Stipend and Where the NCAA Goes From Here
03.16.2015Examine your Contract: Is your "Buyout" Liquidated Damages or Penalty Payment?
02.02.2015Protect Yourself: Are You Prepared for a Personal Lawsuit?


11.26.2018"What Every State Lawmaker Needs to Know About A Sports League’s Property Right to Sports Betting Income," Gaming Law Review, November 2018
07.26.2018Client Alert: FAQs About Sports Betting Under Ohio Law
03.29.2018Client Alert: Why it is 100x Riskier to Pay College Athletes than it is to Pay NFL Free Agents
03.13.2018Client Alert: Skill-Based Amusement Machine Regulation: OCCC Informational Seminars
11.03.2017Client Alert:  Reform the Federal Sports Betting Excise Tax "Dilemma"
08.22.2017Client Alert: North Carolina Court of Appeals Issues Important Opinion on Commercial Lease Guaranties
06.09.2017"Attorney Claims PASPA Has Loophole," GamblingCompliance
06.07.2017Client Alert: Top Ten Urban Legends of Intellectual Property
04.11.2017Client Alert: Changes Brewing? How North Carolina's ABC Omnibus Legislation (House Bill 500) Would Affect Your Business
02.09.2017"Why Should I Register My Trademarks?"
10.19.2015Co-Author, "Stay in the Game: Part One"
10.07.2015White Paper - Why Daily Fantasy Sports Needs Regulation to Survive
August 2015"A Joint Ad “venture” – Women & Franchising," PAFI Press, August 2015
01.22.2015Client Alert: Protect Yourself: Are You Prepared for a Personal Lawsuit?
12.30.2013"Emerging Trends in NCAA Coaches' Contracts," The Front Row, North Carolina Bar Association, Sports & Entertainment Law Section, Section Vol. 14, No. 2, December 2013
Fall 2013"The Reality of Reality Show Participant Agreements," Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal, New York State Bar Association, Fall/Winter 2013, Vol. 24, No. 3
Summer 2013"Fairly Fair Use," Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal, New York State Bar Association, Summer 2013, Vol. 24, No. 2
Spring 2013"The Modern Athletic Director:  Rising Expectations, Risks and Rewards," Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal


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