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Explore Our Capabilities

Sports & Entertainment


A broad range of sports, entertainment, and media clients turn to Parker Poe to negotiate business deals, resolve high-profile disputes, and receive pragmatic legal advice.

Our clients include musicians, actors, actresses, authors, comedians, associations, and leading media and entertainment companies. We also represent athletes, teams, local governments, and businesses involved in NASCAR, the NBA, the NFL, the MLS, the MLB, the NCAA, the MiLB, the AHL, and a variety of esports leagues. We have particular depth in motorsports entertainment, including representation of a leading motorsports entity for more than 40 years.

Across the board, clients rely on us for legal advice that is grounded in a deep understanding of their business needs and their evolving industry. We frequently serve as outside general counsel, guiding clients through intellectual property management, contract negotiation, brand strategy, and many other aspects of their businesses.

Areas of Focus

Entertainers & Athletes

We represent entertainers and athletes ranging from the legendary to the up and coming. Our work includes:

  • Negotiating and drafting contracts for sponsorships, endorsements, and licensing deals.
  • Protecting intellectual property content, including through creating and enforcing trademarks and other types of intellectual property and negotiating social media influencer, option and literary rights, life story rights, and nondisclosure agreements.
  • Advising on the tax implications of business deals.
  • Creating, amending, and litigating trusts and estates.
  • Counseling on brand strategy, public relations, and crisis communications.
  • Litigating disputes over contracts, liability, and intellectual property.  

Media & Entertainment Businesses

We represent leading media companies and a range of businesses involved in the entertainment industry. Our work includes:

  • Aiding and assisting noted media companies with acquisition, distribution, and podcast agreements.
  • Protecting businesses' intellectual property content, including through social media influencer, option and literary rights, life story rights, and nondisclosure agreements.
  • Litigating disputes involving concerts and tours.

Teams & Stadiums

We represent team owners, real estate developers, local governments, and others involved in sports franchises and facilities. Our work includes:

  • Helping businesses and local governments turn the idea for a new team or stadium into a reality, including negotiating contracts with major and minor leagues and securing financing. 
  • Negotiating use and operating agreements for stadiums, arenas, ballparks, and other sports facilities.
  • Drafting and negotiating trademark license agreements, partnership agreements, and other contracts related to joint offerings, co-branding, and intellectual property ownership.
  • Counseling on visa approvals, work authorizations, and other immigration issues. 
  • Advising colleges, universities, and school districts on navigating evolving name, image, and likeness (NIL) contract opportunities and compliance issues.
  • Serving as outside general counsel for all legal needs.  

Representative Experience

  • Served as general counsel to legendary recording artists and bands, advising on the full scope of their legal needs, including negotiating agreements with stadiums, arenas, and other entertainment venues; resolving royalty disputes; and preventing copyright and trademark infringement.
  • Represented Bubba Wallace in his negotiations to become the driver of Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin's new NASCAR team. Wallace is the only Black driver and Jordan became the only Black principal owner at NASCAR's top level, the Cup Series.
  • Represented Sonic Financial Corporation in its deal to acquire all outstanding shares of Speedway Motorsports Inc., a publicly traded company that is a national leader in motorsports entertainment, with an enterprise value of more than $1 billion.
  • Represented Events DC (the official Washington convention and sports authority) in connection with the development and construction of the Entertainment and Sports Arena, a multipurpose venue capable of hosting basketball, sporting, music, esports, and other events. The facility also serves as the home court for a WNBA franchise and the training center for an NBA franchise.
  • Represented the Black American Music Association in its joint venture to launch the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame in Atlanta. In addition to general business counseling, the firm advised the organizations on zoning and permitting to establish the Walk of Fame and helped them secure trademarks and other intellectual property.
  • Represented the City of Gastonia in negotiating and drafting the use and operating agreement, lease agreement, and economic development agreement for the minor league ballpark in the FUSE District in downtown Gastonia.
  • Successfully defended a global concert promoter/operator against claims arising out of injuries incurred during a crowd surge at a music concert.
  • Represented children of the late James Brown in estate litigation that included claims under the federal Copyright Act and a unanimous decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court holding that the putative wife of the late James Brown was not his valid spouse due to bigamy.
  • Developed centralized immigration processes for a Canadian company with thousands of employees in the sports and entertainment industry.
  • Obtained visa approvals and work authorizations for executives and families of a professional basketball franchise.
  • Represented an actress in a joint venture to create her own wine label.
  • Represented an Atlanta entrepreneur seeking to open a new club that is part of a hip hop mogul's franchise.
  • Advised NBA, NFL, and MLB players on equity investments, estate planning, litigation, and other legal and business issues.
  • Represented comedians, musicians, and other entertainers in a broad range of contract and licensing negotiations.

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