Most important sports law case in history?

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Most important sports law case in history?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:38 am

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/ ... id=4336261

I brought that up in the knockoff jersey thread and I think its important enough for it's own thread.

Basically, a small hat maker challenged the NFL's right to allow Reebok to be the sole provider of all league apparel. The case was to be tossed out but the NFL actually encouraged the courts to explore it, and in doing so hopes that once and for all the league will be viewed legally as one entertainment business as opposed to 32 football teams. MLB, NHL, and NBA are siding with the NFL, and different potential rammifications are discussed in the article.
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby beerman on Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:00 am

very interesting, I dislike the NFL very much, just sucks I can't turn away from the Steelers though or I'd have no reason to support it at all.
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby shafnutz05 on Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:02 am

I tried to read the article, but am having a hard time figuring out what the MAIN ramification is. I do think it's interesting that the NFL encouraged the courts to not dismiss the case...can anyone tell me why they did that??
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby canaan on Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:05 am

the man does everything

Legal scholars and experts agree that the case is of enormous significance. Gary Roberts, the dean of the Indiana University School of Law and the author of the leading textbook on sports law, tells ESPN.com that the case "could easily turn out to be the most significant sports law decision ever."
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby beerman on Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:06 am

shafnutz05 wrote:I tried to read the article, but am having a hard time figuring out what the MAIN ramification is. I do think it's interesting that the NFL encouraged the courts to not dismiss the case...can anyone tell me why they did that??


I didn't completely get it but it seems they did that so they could: essentially monopolize their league, it won't be viewed as 32 teams doing business but 1 league. So they can only allow whatever company they chose to make their gear heavily regulate it and charge us out the *** for it. On top of that this will pretty much allow them to crush the unions do away with FA (I think) get a salary scale for both players and coaches so the owners can pay them what they want. They'll be able to even further regulate tv contracts and up ticket prices.

ie it will suck
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby Troy Loney on Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:07 am

I'm not really sure i understand the ramifications either....is this something that big market teams would be against...thats kind of what i understood.
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby shafnutz05 on Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:15 am

canaan wrote:the man does everything

Legal scholars and experts agree that the case is of enormous significance. Gary Roberts, the dean of the Indiana University School of Law and the author of the leading textbook on sports law, tells ESPN.com that the case "could easily turn out to be the most significant sports law decision ever."


lol....I was wondering what he has been doing since he retired. Dean of a law school?!
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby JS© on Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:32 am

shafnutz05 wrote:
canaan wrote:the man does everything

Legal scholars and experts agree that the case is of enormous significance. Gary Roberts, the dean of the Indiana University School of Law and the author of the leading textbook on sports law, tells ESPN.com that the case "could easily turn out to be the most significant sports law decision ever."


lol....I was wondering what he has been doing since he retired. Dean of a law school?!


I believe him. I would never question the word of Gary Roberts.
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:35 am

The NFL especially has been the target of numerous anti-trust cases over the years. It dates back to two main events, the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 and the NFL-AFL merger.

At the onset of TV the NFL began league using league wide tv contracts instead of allowing seperate ones for each team (like FSN has with the Penguins/Pirates). The courts saw this as an illegal act under anti trust laws. The SBA of 61 granted an exception to this, and it allowed the teams to sell packages to the networks (such as CBS broadcasting AFC, Fox NFC, NBC Sunday Night, and ABC/ESPN MNF). The NFL's "blackout" rules were part of this because the league broadcasting Team A's game on TV could be construed as competing against Team A's ticket sales.

The merger was seen as losing competition in the professional football market. The leagues wanted it seen as two entertainment corporations merging together (like Marvel Ent and Disney's recent merger). They wanted to be recognized as just another company looking for your entertainment dollars. To legalize the merger they were granted an anti-trust exemption which meant that they could not be sued for being a monopoly unless they specifically tried to stop another league from forming, or were using their status to otherwise reduce competition.

Opponents will say that the league is basically 32 businesses acting in collusion together. They work together to decide the number of teams (thus barring "new" businesses/teams from the market), access to stadiums, access to tv, access to players etc.

If the Supreme Court rules in the NFL's favor, they believe it (and by extension the other pro leagues) will forever be viewed as single entity entertainment corporations. It will allow the leagues a lot more leeway in decisionmaking, because they will not have to worry about upsetting anti-trust lawsuits, whether from TV networks, apparel venders, or unions. They will have an easier time setting salaries, making licensing deals, and whatever else they choose.
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Tue May 25, 2010 12:04 pm

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5214509

I am really surprised this case hasn't gotten more coverage (or maybe it has on ESPN, I just haven't been watching). It hasn't on the political shows I watch most.

The NFL (and in the eyes of the law the other major sports leagues) are to be looked at as 30+ seperate businesses (the teams) NOT one business (the league). This will lessen the leagues abilities to make exclusive contracts for merchandise (remember when several different companies could make and sell jerseys for a team?), to broadcast games exclusively on their networks, and to protect free agency.
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby JarkkoVision on Tue May 25, 2010 12:04 pm

title ix
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby Point Breeze Penguins on Tue May 25, 2010 12:08 pm

Curt Flood
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby Puffymuffin on Tue May 25, 2010 12:15 pm

Point Breeze Penguins wrote:Curt Flood


But that's just a player, were talking about business opportunities here!
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby ulf on Tue May 25, 2010 12:18 pm

So when are the steelers going back to Starter jerseys?
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby JarkkoVision on Tue May 25, 2010 12:19 pm

ulf wrote:So when are the steelers going back to Starter jerseys?


Or when can I get a brand new Steelers starter jacket? The zip is missing from the side of my coat.
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby Draftnik on Tue May 25, 2010 12:32 pm

Clearly a loss for professional sports leagues, although its too early to tell what the ramifications are.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commentary/news/story?page=munson/100524

But instead of making a major change in the law, the court issued a narrow and highly analytical ruling that is limited to the dispute between American Needle and the league.


Sports fans aren't going to save $$$ or have more choices as a result of this IMO. Its only a question of which entity gets to biggest cut of sports fans $$$. Prices for professional sports have exponentially exceeded CPI increases. The lack of anti-trust protection clearly didn't prevent massive price escalation in the past.

Will the cost of officially licensed NFL merchandise substantially decline with less restrictive licensing?

The Comcast vs. NFL/DirecTV dispute would have been a relevant dispute similar to this case but the NFL & Comcast reached an out of court settlement that allowed both to make the $$$ they wanted. That type of resolution to these cases is more likely IMO than a full blown anti-trust lawsuit.

It certainly weakens the NFL's hand in the upcoming labor dispute with the NFLPA. How do fans benefit from that? I don't know.
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby blurryhaze312 on Tue May 25, 2010 12:44 pm

As far as hockey jerseys go, Reebok/CCM has had the exclusive right to produce them for quite a while now. Probably wouldn't have seen any difference in the price of those regardless of the outcome, you'd think.
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Tue May 25, 2010 12:49 pm

blurryhaze312 wrote:As far as hockey jerseys go, Reebok/CCM has had the exclusive right to produce them for quite a while now. Probably wouldn't have seen any difference in the price of those regardless of the outcome, you'd think.


I think the general idea is that the leagues are going to be more careful drawing up these agreements going forward so they don't face the same sorts of scrutiny. I also wonder if it will compel any team to start their own equipment deal (the penguins wearing nike uniforms exclusively, for example).
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby ulf on Tue May 25, 2010 12:52 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:
blurryhaze312 wrote:As far as hockey jerseys go, Reebok/CCM has had the exclusive right to produce them for quite a while now. Probably wouldn't have seen any difference in the price of those regardless of the outcome, you'd think.


I think the general idea is that the leagues are going to be more careful drawing up these agreements going forward so they don't face the same sorts of scrutiny. I also wonder if it will compel any team to start their own equipment deal (the penguins wearing nike uniforms exclusively, for example).

That's what I was getting at with the starter jerseys. I'm pretty sure the Steelers had Starter, then Nike jerseys before Reebok. the 49ers wore Adidas jerseys...maybe those days will be back soon.
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby blurryhaze312 on Tue May 25, 2010 12:55 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:
blurryhaze312 wrote:As far as hockey jerseys go, Reebok/CCM has had the exclusive right to produce them for quite a while now. Probably wouldn't have seen any difference in the price of those regardless of the outcome, you'd think.


I think the general idea is that the leagues are going to be more careful drawing up these agreements going forward so they don't face the same sorts of scrutiny. I also wonder if it will compel any team to start their own equipment deal (the penguins wearing nike uniforms exclusively, for example).


Red Wings used Nike I believe up until the new EDGE cut came out when the league demanded they all use the same company and cut.
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby crayz on Tue May 25, 2010 12:59 pm

Cool stuff here...the guy who started the lawsuit plays hockey in my league :D
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby Draftnik on Tue May 25, 2010 1:13 pm

The Dallas Cowboys had their own deals outside the NFL properties umbrella. I forget who they used, but it wasn't the same partner as NFL properties.

Jerry Jones did it with his jersey, Coke vs. Pepsi, beer, etc.

The Cowboys may still be separate or more likely the economics of not being part of NFL properties didn't make sense.

Somebody with modest googling skills could fill in the facts.
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby MWB on Tue May 25, 2010 1:34 pm

Puffymuffin wrote:
Point Breeze Penguins wrote:Curt Flood


But that's just a player, were talking about business opportunities here!


Opened the door for free agency, which led to big contracts, which led to the current salary disparities in MLB.
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby Puffymuffin on Tue May 25, 2010 1:36 pm

MWB wrote:
Puffymuffin wrote:
Point Breeze Penguins wrote:Curt Flood


But that's just a player, were talking about business opportunities here!


Opened the door for free agency, which led to big contracts, which led to the current salary disparities in MLB.


Yeah eventhough I loathe the game, I know somewhat about it :pop:
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Re: Most important sports law case in history?

Postby MWB on Tue May 25, 2010 1:41 pm

Sorry, when it comes to football vs. baseball around here, sometimes it's hard to tell when people are being sarcastic.
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