There is no denying that, today, sport has become big business. Massive crowds at stadiums and arenas around the world when sports teams embark on pre-season tours to foreign markets provide ample proof that sport is also a global industry with unlimited potential.

The opportunities abound, but so too do the challenges. Clubs must match their performance on the field with their performance on the balance sheet. Complex financing arrangements, skyrocketing costs to attract quality players and improve venues, multi-owner issues, sponsorship arrangements and a global talent pool are coming together to make the operation of any sports franchise highly demanding.

With the assistance of a law firm that combines deep, relevant experience with a passion for the games themselves, sports franchises and the businesses that surround them can win more than just championships.

McMillan's Media, Communications and Entertainment Industry Group brings a wealth of expertise to our sports clients. We have advised clients on a wide range of issues, from the purchase and sale of professional franchises to competition and territorial matters to sponsorship, licensing and marketing.

Our focus is on helping clubs develop sound commercial strategies that drive their brands and financial performance to new heights. We also work with organizations that support the sports industry, such as governing bodies, rights holders, broadcasters and athletes themselves.

McMillan professionals help clients lead by:

  • Advising on commercial transactions, service contracts, employment and immigration issues, and financing arrangements for clubs and venues
  • Assisting with real estate negotiations and stadium development projects
  • Protecting intellectual property rights
  • Negotiating sponsorship, merchandising, licensing, distribution and advertising contracts
  • Negotiating broadcast rights
  • Advising on mergers and acquisitions
  • Conducting contract negotiations on behalf of players, agents and clubs
  • Acted for Rogers Communications Inc. in the purchase of the Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome)
  • Represented the purchaser in the acquisition of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club, and have provided ongoing legal representation to the team's ownership including, general corporate and tax matters, matters involving Major League Baseball sponsorship, licensing and marketing activities, trade-marks and other intellectual property concerns, television and radio broadcasting issues, operational concerns, including those related to stadium matters, employment matters, including contracts for players and other baseball personnel
  • Represented the majority owner of an Arena Football League team and handled various matters for the team itself
  • Represented the purchaser of an all-sports radio station in Toronto and advised in connection with the acquisition of an all sports cable specialty station
  • Represented one of the original principal owners in connection with the establishment of the Toronto Raptors NBA franchise, as well as in the eventual sale of that interest
  • Represented St. Michael's College School in the sale of the St. Mike's Majors Hockey Club (Ontario Hockey League)