Message From the Chair
Hi S&E Network members!
We’re at about the half-way mark of the year and I hope it has been a good one so far.
In May, I had the opportunity to attend the ACC Europe Conference in Paris (my third time attending). Congratulations to the Europe chapter on another excellent conference. The entertainment industry is a global one, so I always find the trip to be valuable as I learn new things that help put my practice in context. If you ever have the chance, I recommend attending. Next year’s conference will be in Edinburgh, Scotland from May 12th-14th. As great as the conference was, the biggest lessons I learned this time were away from the conference: (1) believe the travel guidebooks when they tell you not to leave anything visible in your car – thieves lurk even in the least expected places, including small towns that are off the usual tourist routes; and (2) regularly backup your laptop, especially if you travel with it.
Now it is time to shift gears and think about the ACC Annual Meeting. We will be presenting three panels at the Annual Meeting covering a range of topics. As is our custom, our October network business meeting will be held as a breakfast meeting during the Annual Meeting and will include a Legal Quick Hit from our sponsor, Ogletree Deakins. Have you signed up yet?
The Network is always looking for new volunteers to work with our subcommittees to help build and grow the programs and resources we offer to our members and to the broader sports and entertainment community. Network involvement is a great way to meet new people, develop your professional network, to give back to the legal community, and even to grow personally. And it doesn’t require a huge time commitment. If you filled out our committee survey earlier this year and expressed an interest in participating on a subcommittee or hosting an event, one of the network leaders or I will likely be in touch in the near future, but please also feel free to reach out directly to one of us.
We are continuing to develop local in-person events so you can meet your local colleagues in person and build your networks. We recently received the results of our network survey and it looks like there is a lot of interest in these activities. If you would like to help us plan an event in your local area, please reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note planning is under way for the annual Sports & Entertainment conference hosted in connection with the Southern California chapter.
We are still seeking member-written content, announcements and the like to expand the newsletter. If you are interested in contributing or have ideas for how it can better serve our network, please contact Shameeka Quallo (email@example.com).
As always, huge thanks to our sponsor, Ogletree Deakins, for its continuing commitment to the network.
And don’t forget, if you are on Twitter, please be sure to follow the network at @ACCSELC
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Current Leadership List
Danielle Van Lier
Motion Picture Licensing Corporation
Annual Meeting Programming Co-Chairs
Alliance of American Football
Programming & Resources Chair
Membership – Chair
(please inquire with the chair if interested)
|Communications – Chair
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Legal Quick Hits
We hope you will join us at upcoming Sports & Entertainment Legal Quick Hit monthly calls. The Network meets the third Tuesday of each month at 3pm EST (8pm GMT).
July 17, 2018
Topic: Block Chain and Media Licensing, Presenter: Jessica Lee, Loeb & Loeb
NO CALL - SUMMER BREAK
Sept 18, 2018
Topic: Building Executive Presence and Positioning Career Paths For Leadership
ACC SoCal Chapter Sports & Entertainment Conference (Webcast Available)
July 24, 2018 (9am – 3pm PST / 12pm – 6pm EST), Los Angeles
If you would like to attend in-person REGISTER HERE.
Panel 1: Celebrity Licensing and the Right of Publicity
(10am – 11am PST / 1pm – 2pm EST)
Sponsor: Barnes & Thornburg
Panel 2: Cutting Edge Digital Media Issues
(11:05am – 12:05pm PST / 2:05pm – 3:05pm EST)
Sponsor: Sidley Austin
Panel 3: Sexual Misconduct in Sports and Entertainment
(12:45pm – 1:45pm PST / 3:45pm – 4:45pm EST)
Sponsor: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
Panel 4: Intersection of Sports/Media and Betting
(1:50pm – 2:50pm PST / 4:50pm – 5:50 EST)
Sponsor: Blank Rome
**All webcast presentations will be recorded and archived.**
Please note that once registered, you will receive an email confirmation. The dial-in information and all session materials will be sent to all registrants via email on July 20, 2018.
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Member Spotlight – 10 Questions With Cassie Sadowitz
Cassie Sadowitz, General Counsel of the Jacksonville Jaguars
In her role as General Counsel, Cassie has daily responsibility for the team's legal function and manages transactions and compliance for the team. Cassie oversees matters related to labor and employment, litigation, privacy and compliance, workers compensation and risk management for the company. In addition to her responsibilities with the football team, Cassie has been involved with the legal analysis and strategic formation of related ventures, including $90 million in stadium improvements covering enhanced premium spaces and the construction of the Daily's Place Amphitheater that launched in May 2017.
1. What enticed/attracted you to work within the sports law industry?
I grew up a huge sports fan and have always been fascinated by the ways in which sports, technology and the law intersect. With a background in media and web design, I quickly learned that I could contribute my expertise in an unconventional way as the sports industry would continue to evolve. Sports and entertainment is such an ever-changing area of the law, and one of the most exciting aspects of the role (and this business in general) is that the work is engaging and versatile.
2. Describe one of your proudest moments since you've been in the sports law industry?
One of my proudest moments and most interesting experiences I've encountered since first entering this industry was our trip to London to watch the Jags play in the 2015 International Game Series at Wembley Stadium. That was my first time in London and to be able to see our activations come together on a global stage was incredibly rewarding. It was also a great opportunity to reflect on our organization's direct efforts and accomplishments as it relates to the international expansion of American football. It was - and still is - really exciting being a part of a new initiative that fosters a global impact in sports.
3. If you could do anything and you knew that you wouldn't fail, what would you do and why?
Ideally, if financial failure wasn't a concern and time/resources were unlimited, I would like to travel the world while engaging in efforts to bring stability and sustainability to communities all over the globe. In a practical sense, however, I do think it's worth noting that we need to shift our focus away from the traditional "negative" perspective on what it means to fail. I try to characterize failures as learning experiences and encourage others to remember that mistakes are part of being human. When they do happen, own them, learn from them, and carry on.
4. What is your favorite inspirational quote?
"Follow your heart, but take your brain with you." I believe the origin of the quote is in dispute, but regardless, it's a simple reminder to maintain balance and keep you on track to develop the best and most authentic version of yourself.
5. When you are not working, what is your favorite thing to do?
Spending time with my husband Danny and dog George. We love to travel, be outdoors, explore new cultures, and seek out new adventures!
6. In between handling your job responsibilities, how do you develop and maintain professional relationships?
Mentorships are key. I try to invest in relationships at all levels both internally and externally, and it's amazing what you can learn by just listening to others' experiences and perspectives. I wouldn't be where I am today without strong mentors in my life and make sure I take the time to pay it forward and mentor others both formally and informally.
7. Name 1 resource (book, article, website) that changed your life?
Generally speaking, I think the fact that we all have direct and constant access to unlimited podcasts/TED Talks goes a long way. I love being able to browse different topics based on current happenings, and I'm a firm believer that no one is ever too old or too busy to stop learning.
8. What webpages are currently open on your computer (or what sites do you visit daily)?
Google Suite, Harvard Business Review, SportsBusiness Journal and Corporate Counsel. I also have open the Houseparty app (for regular video conferences with our UK team!)
9. What is 1 thing you wish you knew about the sports law industry before you started?
When I first started in the NFL five years ago, I never realized just how connected the legal team is to employees at all levels and all business units of the organization. We do much more than pushing out contracts and drafting sweepstakes rules. There's a true opportunity to shape the business, culture and vision of the team to help drive revenue while managing risk, and it's one of the most important parts of the role. It also makes a lawyer's job easier when you can truly understand the operations and priorities of each function of the business and collaborate with many talented people who are experts in their respective areas.
10. What is 1 piece of advice you would offer to someone looking for ways to excel within their career?
Embrace change and create opportunities to unlock your potential. Whether you are contemplating a career shift or just searching for ways to elevate your role within your current organization, put a plan together and take the initiative to make it happen. I once heard a panelist say that there's no such thing as "work-life balance"; there's only one life and work is a part of it. I try to be mindful of this and encourage others to find a career where you are passionate about your work and wake up inspired and excited every day.
We would like to thank Cassie for her time and wonderful insight.
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Sponsor’s Corner: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Baseball Players Strike Out on Minimum Wage in Federal Spending Legislation
By: Hanna Raanan (Ogletree Deakins, Orange County), Scott Hardy (Ogletree Deakins, Pittsburgh), Hera Arsen (Ogletree Deakins, Torrance)
Among the many provisions of the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that Congress passed in March of 2018—buried on page 1,967—is an exemption for minor league baseball players from federal minimum wage protections. The Save America’s Pastime Act is likely to mean a certain loss for the players who had sued Major League Baseball (MLB) four years ago, claiming that it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions.
The provision in the omnibus spending legislation creates an exemption for:
any employee employed to play baseball who is compensated pursuant to a contract that provides for a weekly salary for services performed during the league’s championship season (but not spring training or the off season) at a rate that is not less than a weekly salary equal to the minimum wage . . . for a workweek of 40 hours, irrespective of the number of hours the employee devotes to baseball related activities.
In 2016, U.S. Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) had introduced a similar bill, claiming that without the exemption, minor leagues would face cuts that could jeopardize teams and the cities where they play.
The collective bargaining agreements of major league players set the minimum salaries for players on 40-man rosters, which is set at $545,000 for players in the major leagues during the current season. Players in the minors receive $88,900 (if they are signing at least their second contract) and $44,500 (if they are signing their first big league contract). However, minor league players could make as little as $1,150 per month. Minimum salaries for most players on minor league rosters could be as low as $1,100 per month at rookie ball and Class A levels, $1,500 per month at the Double-A level, and $2,150 per month at the Triple-A level.
MLB argues that the players in the minors are seasonal workers and that paying players the minimum wage could put the MLB parent clubs that pay minor-league players out of business. MLB also argues that it would be too difficult to track minor-league players’ hours. To this end, MLB is estimated to have spent over $1 million in 2016 and 2017.
What Does This Mean for the Players’ Lawsuit?
The lawsuit had previously been certified as a class action for certain minor league players, but MLB has since asked U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to overturn the certification. In light of the new legislation, there is a chance that the class action may be decertified or lose on the merits. However, the legislation does not indicate retroactive application. Thus, the minor league players’ class action will likely remain in play through the effective date of the Save America’s Pastime Act. Unfortunately, the Act does bring uncertainty into the mix, but if the Ninth Circuit agrees to MLB’s request, there may be more clarity on the issue in the coming years.
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This quarter’s CLO tip comes from Nyea Sturman, General Counsel of the Orlando Magic
be afraid to say “I don’t have the answer but I will get back to you
with it shortly”. You lose more credibility having to backtrack from
incorrect or incomplete advice given on the spot rather than asking for
time to get the correct or complete answer the first time.
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The Sports and Entertainment Network webpage offers a wide range of practical resources including templates, checklists and guidelines, which are accessible to all ACC members. Please visit our webpage to access the following resources, as well as others, and be sure to check back periodically, as new resources are continuously added.
We are also actively searching for new resources. If you are willing to contribute any contract template (sponsorship, endorsement, licensing, media distribution, production, vendor, confidentiality, etc.), checklist, or any other document that you find useful in your practice, please feel free to share by sending your document(s) to Josh.Kane@lpga.com. Our goal is to provide value to all members by sharing collective best practices.
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Please follow us on Twitter @ACCSELC for additional announcements from the Network, as well as news from the world of sports and entertainment law.
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Join Our Committee
If you are interested in joining the Communications sub-committee please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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