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Overview

Calfee's Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) Law group encompasses decades of experience representing athletes and individuals in the public sphere across multiple disciplines – delivering the expertise of a full-service law firm to help create opportunities and resolve challenges.

Each of our NIL Law attorneys starts by understanding our client's goals and circumstances and helps implement those goals in collaboration with a dynamic and collaborative Calfee legal team. Because the group’s attorneys practice in a variety of legal areas, we are able to tailor the team to meet each individual client’s specific needs.

Calfee's legal services to NIL Law clients include:

  • Choice of entity
  • Succession planning
  • Ownership of intellectual property and digital assets
  • Tech and digital revolution – brand tie-ins (trademarks etc.) and compliance
  • Risk management, injury and insurance planning
  • Domicile issues and strategy
  • Federal and state income tax planning
  • General estate and gift planning
  • Negotiating employment, sponsorship and/or independent contractor contracts

Professionals

Representing Student Athletes

Representing Student Athletes

Your Partner, From National Signing Day Forward

In the world of student athlete name, image and likeness, your school and your prospective NIL sponsors hire sophisticated legal counsel to negotiate with you, not for you. It's important for student athletes to engage counsel to determine if offered deals are compliant with applicable state law and to analyze and negotiate the amount of control your sponsors will attain over your NIL.

The first year you have to file a tax return may be the same year you sign your first NIL deal. Calfee's NIL Law group can help you determine the structure of your NIL deals to facilitate optimal tax effects.

Our team of attorneys will work closely with you to protect your interests for the short-term and well into the future.

Our Highest Duty Is To You

As lawyers, we are obligated to act in your best interest, always. That sets us apart from an advisor working on commission or a sponsor with their own interests in signing you to a deal. While relations with your school, sponsors and donor networks are all important, it can be beneficial to engage an NIL legal team initially to help ensure that every contract and agreement serves to protect your interests first and foremost.

Whether you are just arriving on campus or have signed your first deal, we are prepared to help you understand NIL compliance, assess and negotiate offers from schools, sponsors and potential advisers, and lay the foundation to protect and optimize your brand to achieve your financial goals.

Establish Your Brand

Our primary focus is to understand your goals and your unique brand. Our experienced Intellectual Property attorneys will work with you to understand and define your intellectual property needs and help you control and monetize your IP assets through registration, defense of trademarks and establishing business entities for future collaborations.

Engage in Best-Fit Projects

From years of coordinating, structuring and advising on commercial projects and business interests for public figures, we are well-positioned to help you reflect your persona and your goals in the business transactions and deals under consideration. We are able to negotiate contracts for each deal you sign and coordinate with your other trusted advisors for a team approach that balances the scales with your sponsors.

Our Corporate and Finance team completes as many deals in a year as firms many times our size, and we are prepared to advise you as you enter into new commercial projects, see them through growth and transition, and plan for the exit with an eye toward your next opportunity.

Your NIL partnerships may have you "profiting" from multiple states and from multiple sources. Our Tax Law team will help you identify your potential tax considerations and ensure you understand, in advance, the types of deals and transactions that might trigger tax consequences. Our Tax attorneys help to structure complex deals in ways that minimize taxes, simplify your obligations, and put more of your compensation to work building for your future.

Build for Your Future

As your post-college career takes shape, we are prepared to help you move forward with confidence. Some college athletes will become professional athletes. Others become media professionals or attain roles that keep them in the public eye, while still others transition into more private careers. Many athletes do not know which path they will take when they sign their first NIL deal.

Whether you are championing a charitable cause or looking for a partnership in the crypto, non-fungible token (NFT) or metaverse space, our attorneys have represented public figures, private individuals and businesses in navigating through ever-changing government regulations to make profitable deals while maintaining compliance.

Protect Your Assets for the Long-Term

From the beginning, our Estate and Succession Planning and Administration attorneys help you build the foundations of an estate plan, from powers of attorney to asset protection and wills and trusts. For nearly 120 years, Calfee has built a reputation for its expertise in helping clients plan for their futures and advising clients through unexpected transitions. We have represented professional athletes through their transition to retirement as athletes and into second careers in the media, as business owners, investors, etc. We help our clients develop gifting and estate strategies that establish a nest egg for the future while also providing tax-efficient or tax-free gifting strategies to support family members. We help clients mitigate risk by protecting their assets from future creditors as you embark on new ventures whether reviewing risk management and injury insurance. Calfee’s Estate Planning team has historically focused on supporting the complex legal needs of High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth clients and their families, and so our team fully understands and complies with our clients’ need for discretion and confidentiality.

Coaches and Donor Groups

Coaches and Donor Groups

Partnering With Coaches and Athletic Directors

Calfee's NIL Law attorneys are here to help coaches and athletic directors educate players, to take that role off your shoulders and remove that burden. Your focus should be on the student athletes who are with you to gain an education and participate in athletics, and you shouldn’t be deterred by trying to navigate the other demands on their time.

Our NIL Law attorneys can review your athlete’s NIL deals to ensure that they are compliant with your school’s policies.

NIL opportunities and policies could potentially become distractions to your players; we can give them the knowledge and tools to know that it’s a bigger decision than it originally seems. We can highlight the risk factors, like more responsibility, potential liability, etc.

We can also coordinate with internal stakeholders at organizations or educational institutions to customize and host education seminars on topics like basic tax responsibilities, how to read a contract and financial literacy.

Representing Donor Groups

Outside of NIL Law, Calfee attorneys have deep experience representing donors in relation to charitable organizations. 

We are able to assist with complex giving strategies and coordinate with the recipient school. We help guide donors to the right type of donation strategy for the situation, as they could potentially be a one-time or multi-year donation.

Our experience is further detailed with our Nonprofit Organizations work. 

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