Sports

Representation of Athletes and Coaches
As a professional athlete or coach, you dedicate your time, effort, and passion to pursuing the highest athletic achievements. At Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, we are dedicated to helping our clients achieve the pinnacle of business success. Our priority in representing athletes and coaches is to provide skilled legal representation to help you reach your business goals so you focus on what you do best—attaining athletic and professional success.

Our team of attorneys, including former college and professional athletes, is uniquely qualified to identify and understand your individual legal needs and circumstances. As a full-service firm, we excel at providing collaborative and efficient business solutions to help meet your personal goals. Whether you need help navigating contract negotiations and investment opportunities at the start of your career, handling various legal disputes that arise along the way, or planning for a career after sports, our firm’s experience spans the full spectrum of your legal needs.

Below we highlight some of the practices where we regularly represent athletes and coaches including: Contract and Transactional; Naming Rights, Sponsorships and Advertising Law; Trademark Law / Intellectual Property; Litigation and Dispute Resolution; Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning; and Tax Planning

Contract and Transactional
We guide professional athletes and coaches through contract negotiations, endorsements, personal appearance agreements, financial transactions, and other business opportunities. This advice includes collaborating with your agent and other representatives. Our transactional attorneys have a wealth of experience to help efficiently create innovative solutions that address all types of situations.  

When you allow our firm the time to properly structure business contracts and other agreements at the outset, significant time and money can be saved from otherwise unforeseen complications later down the line.  

•    Player and Coach Contracts
•    Agent Agreements
•    Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) 
•    Licensing Agreements
•    Blockchain Technology & Other Emerging Technologies
•    Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

For more information, see the Business section of our website. 

Naming Rights, Sponsorships and Advertising Law
We help prepare and analyze marketing materials, promotions, sponsorships, domain names, social media—all with the goal of protecting your name, likeness, and reputation. We work to help you achieve your branding, marketing, and financial objectives in light of complex state, national, and global advertising law and regulatory structures.

•    Detailed regulatory review of promotional websites
•    Brand protection 
•    Protecting privacy and controlling data mining 
•    Celebrity endorsements under FTC regulations
•    Product placement 

For more information, see the Advertising Law section of our website.

Trademark Law / Intellectual Property
We counsel athletes and coaches on intellectual property issues including trademark and copyright law. We identify your trademark rights related to words, designs, logos, slogans or trade dress used to distinguish products and services. Our experience includes performing and analyzing clearance searches and documenting ownership. When intellectual property is in dispute, we help our clients prevail in patent, trademark, and copyright infringement disputes.

•    Provide trademark and copyright services for marks, slogans, logos, brochures and other materials
•    Monitoring trademarks 
•    Preparing cease and desist letters to prevent infringement and enforce intellectual property rights 
•    Prosecuting and defending trademark and patent infringement cases 

For more information, see the Intellectual Property section of our website. 

Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Our firm has skilled litigation attorneys who practice in state and federal courts throughout the country. This extensive experience allows us to be strong and savvy negotiators both in and out of the courtroom. Our goal is to work with athletes and coaches at the beginning of a business deal to limit the risk of a future dispute. By incorporating litigators in the business planning stages, we spot pitfalls and potential future problems before they grow into expensive disputes. When disputes do arise, we counsel you and resolve conflicts with as little disruption to your schedule as possible.  

In addition to litigation, our lawyers have achieved exceptional results through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and preventative advice. We have significant experience conducting the following: 

•    Arbitrations 
•    Administrative hearings 
•    Collective bargaining agreement negotiations 
•    Settlement negotiations  
•    Mediations 
•    Trial

For more information, see the Litigation section of our website.

Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning
In addition to your tax planning, we also assist athletes and coaches with personal family and estate planning, including business succession agreements, trust funding, real estate transfers, and prenuptial and post-marital agreements. We advise individuals, families, and those acting in fiduciary capacities in areas such as:

•    Estate Planning for high-net-worth and high-income earners including the creation and administration of Trusts
•    Settlement and administration of estates, including estate litigation 
•    Preparation and filing of estate and gift tax returns
•    Business succession planning
•    Charitable giving and planning 

For more information, see the Estate Planning section of our website. 

Tax Planning
We implement sophisticated tax planning practices and counsel you on how certain strategies can affect your career and business earnings. Athletes and coaches frequently travel and relocate within the U.S. and internationally. Each location has unique federal, state, county, and city tax obligations. It is important to understand how these obligations affect your income potential. 

•    International, federal, state, county, and city income tax, sales tax, and property tax issues
•    Tax-exempt business opportunities
•    Estate planning focused on maximizing your financial legacy through proper tax planning
•    Tax consequences related to corporate structuring 
•    Retirement Planning

For more information, see the Taxation section of our website. 

Forming the Right Team
While striving to reach your pinnacle, you need the right professionals on your team to make sure all of your business and legal bases are covered. In our representation of athletes and coaches, we regularly collaborate with related professionals, such as agents, managers, CPAs, tax accountants and financial advisors, who also have your best interests in mind.

You’re unique; that’s why we tailor our legal solutions to the distinctive challenges and opportunities that you encounter as players and coaches. We look forward to being a member of your business team.

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