ONSIDEPARTNERS.

Sport

 

Sport

We understand the way in which the sporting industry operates and the importance to our clients of the protection and exploitation of their rights. We are able to tailor our services to our clients' specific requirements to promote optimum commercial benefit, reward and risk management, depending upon the objectives of our client.

We are adept in working with our clients to identify and exploit available commercial revenue streams, for example from income through sponsorship, merchandising and the sale and/or licensing of commercial rights, whilst at the same minimising exposure to liability and the dilution of any such commercial rights.

Our partners have significant international expertise in advising a wide range of individuals and entities working in the sporting arena including international sportspersons, domestic and international professional sporting teams and clubs, major domestic and international sporting organisations, rights holders, agencies and promoters, event organisers and national and international sporting venues, including motor racing circuits and domestic and national stadium facilities.

 

We offer a wide range of services and advice to clients in the Sport industry, including in relation to:

  • management, exploitation and protection of sponsorship rights, including advising and assisting individuals and entities with the acquisition/sale and activation of sponsorship rights;
  • management, exploitation and protection of commercial rights, including advising and assisting individuals and entities with the acquisition/sale and activation of:
  • sponsorship rights;
  • naming rights;
  • image rights;
  • TV (broadcasting) rights;
  • publishing rights;
  • internet rights;
  • merchandising rights; and
  • all other intellectual property rights associated with sporting events, sporting teams, sportspersons and/or rights attaching to them;
  • conception, formation, management, organisation and staging of new or existing amateur, professional, national and international sporting events (including managing, packaging and exploiting the commercial rights associated with the same);
  • personal representation;
  • professionalisation and commercialisation of professional sporting clubs;
  • the national and international transfer of professional sportspersons to and from domestic and international professional sporting clubs;
  • management and exploitation of key facilities within national and international stadiums, motor racing circuits and other sporting facilities; and
  • redevelopment of stadiums, motor racing circuits and other sporting facilities.

 

Some examples of our partners' relevant experience (respecting at all times our clients' requests for confidentiality where applicable) includes:

  • advising Etihad Airways in its record breaking multi-million pound sponsorship of English premier league football club Manchester City FC. The deal, initially set to run over 3 years, sees Etihad become the Principal Team Sponsor, the Official Club Sponsor, the Official Airline Sponsor and the Official Shirt Sponsor of the Club;

  • advising Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and the England & Wales Cricket Board in relation to the use of Trent Bridge as a ground for one-day international and test matches for 10 years – the first agreement of its kind, which included advising in respect of all aspects of the exploitation of staging rights, advertising rights, sponsorship rights and use of imagery;

  • advising Etihad Airways in relation to the renaming, re-branding and sponsorship of the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia (the stadium was formerly known as the "Telstra Dome"). The deal included the acquisition of the exclusive naming rights to the stadium for a minimum of 5 years;

  • advising a Middle East based major international television sports broadcaster on the packaging and commercial exploitation of the exclusive broadcasting (TV) rights in relation to a series of professional sporting events taking place in the Middle East region;

  • presently advising a number of current and former professional sportspersons / TV personalities on a range of matters, including personal sponsorship, rights acquisition, use of images and the provision of professional services;

  • advising United Holdings Group in relation to the sponsorship of thoroughbred racing horses stabled and trained at Zabeel Racing Stables and Millennium Racing Stables in Dubai, UAE;

  • advising a prominent national sporting club in the UAE in the selection and appointment of an international hotel chain for the operation and management of a boutique hotel located within a sporting facility (stadium) in Abu Dhabi, UAE;

  • advising an entity in relation to the management, operation and exclusive sponsorship of a racing yacht for participation in international sailing regattas and racing events worldwide;

  • advising a major UAE based corporate entity in relation to the procurement of naming rights and sponsorship at the Dubai Ladies Masters and the Dubai Desert Classic international professional golf tournaments;

  • advising Abdul Latif Jameel Company in relation to its sponsorship of the 2009 Hail Rally in KSA;

 

  • advising the owners of a major motorsport facility in the UAE in relation to the proposed redevelopment and construction of a new motorsport circuit with associated leisure and hotel complex;

  • representing a Middle East based professional sportsperson on the acquisition of exclusive broadcasting (TV) rights to a major international sporting event from WIGE Communication GmbH;

  • representing sportspersons and/or clubs upon the national and international transfer of professional sportspersons to and from professional sporting clubs;

  • advising a department of the Dubai government in relation to the packaging and exploitation (including sale) of exclusive broadcasting (TV) rights to a series of events taking place outside the Middle East region;

  • representing a number of teams in negotiating and finalising (including drafting) drivers’ agreements for major motor racing Formulae, including FIA Formula 1 and the FIA World Rally Championship, including negotiating and finalising aspects of service provision by professional motor racing drivers and the separation and licensing of image rights and intellectual property;

  • advising a rights holder in relation to the distribution of rights to broadcast (televise) programmes throughout the Middle East and North Africa featuring footage of the 2007 and 2008 seasons of an international top-formula motor racing championship;

  • representing Basil Shaaban in relation to all aspects of his personal affairs, including the drafting and negotiation of personal sponsorship agreements for the 2007 and 2008 motor racing seasons (including a premium sponsorship package with Shell) and driving agreements in 2007 and 2008 with HBR Motorsport GmbH and Formula Palmer Audi;

  • advising the organisers of a new pan-Asia motor racing championship in relation to all aspects of the conception, formation and roll-out of the championship prior to its commencement in late 2007, including all aspects relating to the retention of talent (including professional motor racing drivers) and procurement of equipment (including motor racing cars) for the series;

  • between 2006 and 2007, our partner, Simon Bryan, was retained as the exclusive legal services provider to Dubai Autodrome LLC, the first full-service, FIA accredited and approved motor racing circuit in the UAE;

 

  • representing rights holders in relation to the staging of various international world championship sporting events and popular music concerts and festivals, including recently a WBO World Title boxing match and the 2006 Andrew Flintoff Benefit Year;

  • advising an FIA Formula 1 team in the drafting and negotiation of a title sponsor’s agreement (including all aspects of the separation and licensing of image rights and intellectual property);

  • in 2005, our partner, Simon Bryan, undertook a six-month exclusive retainer arrangement and one day a week secondment acting as General Counsel to Al Jazira FC in Abu Dhabi. In this role Simon advised on numerous matters, including as to:
  • the corporatisation of the club and its facilities;
  • the professionalisation of the playing and coaching staff;
  • the national and international transfer of professional sportspersons both to and from the club;
  • drafting and negotiating operating and management agreements for key facilities within the stadium and surrounding vista;
  • the redevelopment of the stadium and surrounding facilities (including increasing the stadium capacity);
  • the staging of international world championship sporting events; and
  • matters relating to sponsorship and the exploitation of intellectual property rights of the club. Simon also conducted a comprehensive review and revision of the employment contracts for all of Al Jazira's employees, including the club's executive, playing staff and general administrative function;

  • advising Prodrive in the formulation and creation of a tri-partite joint venture between Prodrive, Care Racing Develoment and Veloqx Motorsport, to form "Veloqx Prodrive Ferrari", a two-car racing team comprised to compete in the GTS class at the 2003 Sebring 12-hour race and the Le Mans 24-hour race. The assignment included the drafting and negotiation of all documentation and agreements relating to the project, including joint venture agreements, participation agreements, sponsorship agreements, agreements for the provision of supplies and services and driver service agreements. The team was successful in finishing second at Sebring, and winning at Le Mans.