The Middle East and North Africa is attracting some of the world’s biggest sports and entertainment events, from the World Cup to Formula One. Our specialist sports and events team has advised on many of the biggest events.

We were the first law firm in the region to establish a specialist sports and events team, and our team includes sports law experts with both local and international expertise.

Commercial, problem solving advice

Our sports and events services include advice on global and regional sponsorships, event hosting and delivery, media and broadcast rights, individual player contracts and associated image rights and many more general commercial agreements relevant to the sector.

Members of our team have worked with major international names and competitions in the industry, including the UEFA Champions League (with TEAM Marketing AG), the Euros (with CAA) and the English Premier League (with Liverpool FC), as well as having advised ATP ranked tennis players, professional sporting clubs and music and entertainment talent.

As such, our approach is always commercial, with a focus on solving problems and finding the right outcomes for our clients.

We work across the MENA region in 10 jurisdictions, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt and Morocco.

International expertise and regional knowledge

Our clients choose us because we combine specialist advice gained at an international level with on the ground local knowledge of the regulatory and commercial landscape in the MENA region.

We act for both government departments and event owners and advise on sports including football, tennis, cricket and boxing as well as e-sports and gaming. Our events work covers concerts, conferences and exhibitions.

Our sports and events services

  • Delivery of sports and events ecosystems.
  • Event and venue management advice (including in respect of sporting events).
  • Intellectual property and brand protection and exploitation advice.
  • Broadcast and media agreements.
  • All aspects of sport and events sponsorship – including drafting and negotiating sponsorship agreements and other marketing rights agreements.
  • Merchandising and retail agreements.
  • Advising on marketing and promotional activities related to sports and events.
  • Advising on the use and implementation of new technologies in sports and events.
  • Player and coaching agreements.
  • Agency and service provider advice for sports and events.
  • eSports advice.
  • Mass participation events.
  • Governance issues related to sporting and events entities.
  • Corporate structuring advice in connection with sports and events activities.
  • Stakeholder integration.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution.
  • Advising governing bodies and governments on sporting regulations and implementing integrity and anti-doping requirements.

Examples of our sports and events management work

  • Advised on numerous player transfers into major professional leagues within the region, including Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Al Nassr.
  • Advised the Saudi Tourism Authority on its regional sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup 2022.
  • Retained by MDL Beast to provide commercial contracts assistance.
  • Retained by Abu Dhabi Gaming to advise on all gaming and eSports activities within Abu Dhabi.
  • Preparation of the legislative regulations of Saudi Arabian Football Federation.
  • Advised a major international eSports publisher in relation to developing a compliance framework for online and offline tournaments in the UAE and KSA.
  • Retained by Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management LLC to provide comprehensive commercial and regulatory legal support in connection with the delivery of the annual F1 race and year-round motorsport community events at Yas Marina Circuit including triathlons, walkathons, 10km runs, drag events and Formula Drift competitions.
  • Retained by Farah Experiences LLC (operator of Yas Island leisure parks, including Ferrari World) in connection with the sustainable development of Yas Island as a tourist destination.
  • Retained by FIFA to advise and implement IP portfolio protection in the region.

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