Message From the Chair
Dear Network members –
This is my last Chair's Message before I pass the reins along to Julie Maresca, who has served as Vice Chair for the last two years. It has been my honor and privilege to serve as Network chair over the last two years.
I hope to see many of you at the Annual Meeting in October. As you can see below, we have three great panels planned. We also will have our October Legal Quick Hit, presented by our sponsor Ogletree Deakins, at our breakfast meeting during the Annual Meeting. And, of course, Ogletree Deakins will also be sponsoring our annual mixer. All of the information is below.
Thank you again for a great two years!
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Message From the Incoming Chair
A warm welcome to the Sports and Entertainment Network –
I am honored to be representing this Network in 2018-2019 and thank Danielle for leading this group over the last two years. The 2018-2019 leadership roster is full of wonderful future leaders of the Network who I look forward to working with throughout the term, and in particular I'm happy to lead the Network along with:
Nyea Sturman, Orlando Magic (Vice Chair)
Josh Kane, Twitter (Secretary)
In addition, we are actively seeking ACC members who want to be involved in shaping a productive and worthwhile S&E Network, so please contact me to show your interest.
A little bit about my background: I joined the ACC in 2006, and have been a member of the Sports & Entertainment Network since the beginning – when it was first trying to become a Network (previously known as committee).
In 2013 I was the Chair of the Entertainment portion of Membership, and have seen our numbers grow as well as the resources the Network provides.
I look forward to working with you to fulfill the mission of the Sports & Entertainment Network which is:
. . . to provide materials, training, continuing educational opportunities and resources for all Association of Corporate Counsel members with an interest in sports and entertainment law, and to connect those attorneys working in-house at companies in or affiliated with the entertainment and sports industries. The network will offer relevant educational opportunities for its members that will enable them to provide effective and efficient services to their internal clients. The network will seek to create liaisons with other specialty organizations that also focus on various aspects of sports and entertainment law.
Here’s to a great new term!
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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
Little Star Media, Inc.
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 Committee meets the third Tuesday of each month at 3pm EST.
The Past Legal Quick Hit webcasts are available to ACC members to view on demand for free on the ACC website. Here are a few you may have missed:
EMEA: Emerging Pay Equity Issues in Europe for Sports and Entertainment Industry
January 2018, Presented by Danielle McGuigan, Partner, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC [Access Here]
Morals Clauses for Athletes and Performers
May 2018, Presented by Peter Hughes, Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC [Access Here]
Use of Name/Image/Likeness in Advertising: Do You Really Have Consent?
June 2018, Presented by Ron Oines, Partner, Rutan & Tucker LLP [Access Here]
Climbing the Executive Ranks: Counsel to GC to CEO/COO
September 2018, Presented by Chad Biagini, Partner, Global Head of Sport, Nolan Partners and Andrew Moss, Partner, Global Head of Media & Entertainment, Molan Partners [Access Here]
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2018 ACC Annual Meeting - Sports & Entertainment Network Programs & Events
We hope to see you in Austin for this year’s Annual Meeting! Please see below for details about the Network’s programs:
Monday, October 22
10:00pm – Midnight A Night of Fun & Games - Sponsored by Ogletree
Location: Speakeasy, 412 Congress Avenue, Austin
RSVP: Molly Daly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, October 23
9:00am – 10:00am The Sports, Entertainment & Employment Law Game
Curricula: Business & Management, Employment & Labor
Room: Meeting Room 16
In this interactive game-show session, test your knowledge
of sports, entertainment, ethics and employment law.
Questions will involve complex, real-life situations covering
a wide range of topics. An automated system will keep score
and reveal how your answers stack up against your peers’.
William Bensussen, Senior Deputy General Counsel, SAG-AFTRA
David Cohen, Head of Player Operations, Alliance of American Football
William Grob, Partner, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Norman Wain, General Counsel, Chief of Business Affairs, USA Track & Field, Inc.
11:00am – 12:30pm Through the Black Mirror to Westworld: Tracking,
Profiling and the Rise of the Machines
Curricula: Compliance, Contract Drafting, Technology
Room: Ballroom G
Netflix’s “Black Mirror” is a dystopian series that looks at the pervasiveness of technology in our lives, from social media networks to drones to tracking technology. HBO’s “Westworld” presents an amusement park where almost anything goes with the park’s robotic hosts. But are these series so farfetched? Using examples from these series, the speakers will explore cutting-edge legal, contractual and compliance issues arising from technology. This panel will take a multi-disciplinary and global approach to discussing what these issues mean to your business.
Alexander Duisberg, Partner, Bird & Bird
Carmelo Fontana, Senior Counsel, Google Inc.
Emily Roisman, Chair and Chief Legal Officer, PROTECHOS INC.
Danielle Van Lier, Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property & Contracts, SAG-AFTRA
4:30pm – 6:00pm The Business Consequences of Bad Behavior
Curricula: Business & Management, Compliance, Corporate Governance, Employment & Labor, Ethics
Room: Meeting Room 11
The past year saw the fall of many powerful individuals in the sports and entertainment fields and beyond due to personal misconduct, sparking the rise of the #MeToo movement and other grassroots initiatives. However, the damage went beyond people: Companies that tolerated or empowered bad behavior suffered as well. Explore what led to the groundswell of change and what it means for the future. Discuss best practices for developing a culture of compliance and the risks of failing to do so, including an exploration of the legal and public relations implications for companies and individuals.
Relani Belous, General Counsel, Stan Lee's Pow! Entertainment
Roxanne Khazarian, General Counsel, SELF
Danielle Ochs, Partner, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Jaimie Wolf, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment
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Member Spotlight – 10 Questions With Relani Belous
Relani Belous, General Counsel at Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment
POW! Entertainment, Inc., a multimedia production and licensing company, creates and licenses animated and live-action fantasy and superhero entertainment content and merchandise. It develops originally created franchises for new media, such as online digital content and video games, as well as for traditional entertainment media, such as feature length films in live action and animation, DVD, live entertainment, television programming, merchandising, and related ancillary markets. The company also focuses on developing Stan Lee originally created projects for traditional entertainment media.
1. What enticed/attracted you to work within the entertainment law industry?
Prior to becoming an attorney I was a certified public accountant. I figured attending law school would be a good foray into the entertainment world so I enrolled in Southwestern Law School. I always noticed that life and fashion is media saturated and I easily became intrigued about how media (especially movies) controls and influences such a large part of the culture. Coupled with the fact that I am a huge proponent of creativity, I enjoy the fact that my role at POW! Entertainment requires a level of creativity in the deals I negotiate and draft, so I am intrigued about how it all comes together.
2. Describe one of your proudest moments since you've been in the entertainment law industry?
I am most proud of my ability to navigate to and through the entertainment law industry. While in law school, I recall a professor advising me that it wasn’t the best idea to pursue a job in entertainment law since getting into the industry was too competitive. I am most proud of the fact that I was able to navigate my career within the industry on my own merit and not because I had a famous last name. Through that experience I also learned I am motivated when people tell me things are impossible! Such motivation is within me till this day.
3. If you could do anything and you knew that you wouldn't fail, what would you do and why?
I’d like to be a Rockstar! Something about the rush of a live performance, coupled with being able to move hundreds of thousands of fans, seeing their reactions and their enjoyment of the music intrigues me.
4. What is your favorite inspirational quote?
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Stephen Covey
5. When you are not working, what is your favorite thing to do?
I love spending time with my dog, Angelo, who’s a minton, and I tend to find a sense of fundamental clarity by exercising, whether its pilates or crossfit.
6. In between handling your job responsibilities, how do you develop and maintain professional relationships?
Understanding the importance of relationships, I try to stay involved in various professional organizations such as ACC and the International Trademark Association (INTA). Within ACC I am a board member of the SoCal chapter and involved with their Diversity Committee. I am also increasing my role within the Sports & Entertainment Network. Additionally, I try to attend as many functions as I can and oftentimes introduce myself and schedule lunch with other legal professionals. Making the time to foster relationships is crucial to maintaining positive relationships. It also makes it that much easier to pick up the telephone when you have a question or need something.
7. Name 1 resource (book, article, website) that changed your life?
I find Louise Hay’s website, www.louisehay.com, valuable since it stresses the power of positive thinking and its ability to create more of what you want in your life by doing so. The website’s daily affirmations are also useful. I also loved Change Your Thoughts- Change Your Life by Dr. Wayne Dyer.
8. What webpages are currently open on your computer (or what sites do you visit daily)?
I make sure to visit various news outlets daily, such as Bloomberg, BBC and Westlaw. Additionally, I’m not ashamed to say that Amazon is another website I visit daily.
9. What is 1 thing you wish you knew about the entertainment law industry before you started?
Working in the entertainment law industry is not as glamorous of a job as most people think. However, I am motivated by the fact that I love what I do and that media is always different and ever changing.
10. What is 1 piece of advice you would offer to someone looking for ways to excel within their career?
If I had to advise someone looking for ways to excel in their career, I’d first say you should ensure to take ownership of your work and make sure you “own” everything you work on. It’s yours. In that same vein you also have to ensure you follow through on your execution of the work you’re assigned to! Secondly, make sure to keep your word. If you say you’ll have something do and within a certain timeframe, make sure to do so. By doing so you establish credibility with your peers and your boss, and it ultimately helps you excel within your career.
We would like to thank Relani for her time and wonderful insight.
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Sponsor’s Corner: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Hedge Their Bets in Light of the Supreme Court’s Sports Betting Ruling?
By Steven Silver
The dog days of summer are winding down, which means
football season is right around the corner. But this football season is
different. For the first in more than two decades, Nevada no longer has a
monopoly on legal sports betting.
Thanks to a 6-3 ruling by the Supreme Court of the United
States in Murphy v. National Collegiate
Athletic Association, the federal prohibition of sports betting is a thing
of the past. In May 2018, the Supreme Court held that the Professional and
Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), 28 U.S.C. §§ 3701-3704 is
unconstitutional because it violated the anti-commandeering doctrine under the
Many wrongly believe that this ruling makes all sports
betting legal in the United States. While the Supreme Court ruled that the
PAPSA is unconstitutional, it did not legalize sports betting. Rather, the
Court struck down the federal prohibition, which opened the way for individual
states to determine whether to legalize sports betting. Thus far, only New
Jersey, Delaware, and Mississippi have joined Nevada in legalizing sports
betting. By the end of 2018, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania,
Connecticut, and Rhode Island, will also likely have sports books up and
So unless an employee is located in those states, sports
betting is still very much illegal and employers that have operations outside
of those states will want to consider implementing plans to make sure such
unlawful conduct is not occurring at the workplace, because, more than likely,
it already is.
According to the American Gaming Association, people in the
United States illegally wager at least $150 billion
annually—which is more than the annual revenue of 491 of the Fortune 500
companies—on sporting events. This figure includes bets placed with
neighborhood bookies, on offshore websites, and with friends or coworkers. The
amount of time employees spend on sports betting, including the long-popular fantasy
sports, can certainly create a drain on productivity.
What Can an Employer Do?
First, regardless of whether an employer is located in a
state with legal sports betting or not, it may be worthwhile to revisit its
Internet and mobile device use policies. Using company resources to place bets
or manage fantasy teams could create performance issues on computer networks,
make company data susceptible to security breaches, and distract from an
employee’s assigned tasks. Additionally, even in states that have legalized
sports betting, the use of computers and mobile devices to place bets could
still potentially violate the Wire Act and
create potential liability for employers that know their employees are using
company property to place bets. Employers should consider reminding employees
of their Internet use policies and any policy on the appropriate use of
Second, employers should consider ensuring that its
supervisors and human resources staff are properly trained to spot signs of
addiction. Although developing a gambling addiction is likely no more prevalent
now than it was last year, employees in states with legal sports betting are
going to be inundated with advertisements aimed at getting them to start
placing wagers. Gambling addiction is not covered by the Americans with
Disabilities Act, but it should still be handled with sensitivity.
Third, many employees like to bet with each other or
participate in fantasy sports leagues together. Building this camaraderie can
have many positive impacts on the workplace. But beware, because harassment,
disparate treatment, or discrimination can pop up in the most unexpected
places. What if a supervisor lashes out at an employee after losing a bet or
not getting a specific player in the fantasy draft? Or what about the older employee who feels
that he or she has to pick up the slack of younger workers who are clustered
around the break room during a game. Whatever the situation, a company can be
prepared to deal with employee interactions where money is at stake and tempers
can run high.
Lastly, employers can be prepared for reduced productivity.
It is inevitable. Fall brings the start of football, hockey, and basketball
seasons along with baseball playoffs. Fan loyalty runs deep, particularly with
money on the line, and employees will no doubt check scores and statistics—or
even live stream games—while at work. Employers should consider planning ahead
for these contingencies by creating firm policies, setting realistic
expectations, and enforcing violations uniformly.
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MEMBERS ON THE MOVE
The Sports & Entertainment Network would like to highlight the
work and achievements of the following dynamic network members:
Josh Kane who recently joined Twitter in San Francisco as Senior Legal Counsel – Global Content Partnerships.
David Cohen who recently joined the Alliance of American Football as the Head of Player Operations.
Danielle Van Lier who was recently promoted from Senior
Counsel to Assistant General Counsel, Intellectual Property &
Contracts at SAG-AFTRA.
Brandon Harrell who recently joined the Philadelphia 76ers as Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs.
Congratulations to Josh, David, Danielle and Brandon! If you have an
announcement you would like to share we would love to hear from you.
Please submit to: email@example.com.
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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 JKane@twitter.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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