Name, Image and Likeness Team and BurrSportsLaw.com in the News
After the September 14, 2021 announcement that Burr & Forman has launched BurrSportsLaw.com, a resource center for college athletes, several local media outlets and national legal publications have written about the firm’s new team and approach to counseling students related to the name, image and likeness (NIL) rules adopted by the NCAA and several state legislatures.
Highlights of the NIL team media coverage are included below, and the full press release announcing the new site and NIL team is available here. If you are interested in learning more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Law360 spoke with Bill Lawrence, who leads the firm’s NIL team, to learn more about the legal services the NIL team provides students. “We believe that as attorneys, we offer student-athletes a somewhat less predatory option than a sports agent,” Lawrence said. “Business transaction lawyers like me are trained in negotiating commercial contracts for clients, and we’re sensitive to protecting their personal brands and economic situations.”
One of the objectives of the team is to help clients avoid falling into the pitfalls of potentially problematic contracts, Lawrence added, and any contract signed has to be incompliance with the various laws depending on where the athlete goes to school. “The old saying that more money causes more problems can be true a lot of times with student-athletes,” said Lawrence. “An athlete presenting a contract that seems extremely beneficial from a financial standpoint may be swayed more by the dollar signs than the actual terms and conditions of the contract. We’ve seen some contracts, especially in the social media influencing arena, that have been fairly aggressive from the endorser’s side and oftentimes a bit onerous on the student-athlete, and I think we can come in and balance the equities.”
Law.com’s Daily Business Review: “Burr & Forman Launches Resource Website for Student Athletes”
The Daily Business Review, a Florida-based outlet published by American Lawyer Media on Law.com, interviewed Orlando partner and certified NFL Players Association contract advisor Scott Miller for its coverage of the new 12-member team.
“I’m making sure the athlete is protected going forward, that they’re not giving away some future right to advertise in a particular space,” Miller said. “Since a lot of what I do with my athletes is endorsement-type contracts, NIL opportunities for college athletes dovetails into that.”
“It should be a win/win for everybody,” Miller said of the new opportunities under the NIL rules. “The schools should embrace it because, if the alumni are happy helping student athletes, happy alums are probably going to donate more money.”
NashvillePost: “Law Firm Launches NIL Practice”
NashvillePost covered the new team and highlighted partner Alex Little and associate Zack Lawson in Nashville, both of whom are certified NFL Players Association contract advisors. The story also highlighted other attorneys on the team with NCAA experience, including former University of Alabama football All American (and later compliance officer) Kermit Kendrick in Birmingham and Chris Meyer in a Jackson, Mississippi, who previously worked in Mississippi State University’s athletics department.
The Tennessee Bar Association also shared this coverage in its TBA Today newsletter on September 16, 2021, which is available here.
Business Alabama: “Burr & Forman Launches Support Center for Athletes”
Business Alabama included the firm’s new team and BurrSportsLaw.com in its round-up of top business news on September 16, 2021, highlighting the team’s variety of legal and college athletic backgrounds.
ALM’s Law Journal “On the Move”
ALM’s Law Journal Newsletters publishes a monthly “On the Move” round-up of industry news, which included the NIL practice announcement.