William M. “Bill” Lawrence has handled matters in the sports and entertainment field for more than 20 years. Even prior to the enactment of the name, image and likeness rules, Bill had extensive experience negotiating marketing and NIL-related contracts and other agreements involving professional and collegiate athletes and coaches – including a legendary college football coach, an NFL All-Pro player, professional golfers and basketball players, and more.
Additionally, Bill has a deep understanding of the sports and entertainment landscape stemming from the wide range of matters and clients he has represented in the space, including:
- An ownership group in its acquisition of a professional baseball team and subsequent contractual matters for the team, including stadium lease and vendor contracts;
- A worldwide outdoors organization in connection with the sale of its business and assets, including a popular magazine, to ESPN;
- An automobile racing venture and a brand immersion venture in various contractual matters;
- A regional member of USA Volleyball, the national governing body of volleyball in the U.S.;
- Sports broadcasters and other television and radio talent in transactions involving major college sports programs and networks;
- A publication company focusing on hip hop music;
- A comic book series in licensing and podcasting matters;
- A special-interest magazine and book publisher in acquisition, licensing, employment, and marketing deals;
- An award-winning documentary film company in connection with formation and distribution matters;
- Recording artists and bands in connection with publication and distribution deals;
- A film production company in connection with capitalization, formation, and operational matters; and,
- A retailer in connection with an NIL deal involving a major network reality television personality.
Based upon Bill’s experience in the sports and entertainment law field, the Alabama State Bar appointed him to its Entertainment and Sports Law Task Force, whose recommendations resulted in the creation of the State Bar’s Intellectual Property, Entertainment and Sports Law Section.
In addition to his legal experience in the sports and entertainment field, Bill received collegiate athletic scholarships in two sports, and he remains an active competitive tennis player. Bill has competed against former national and world ranked tennis players, including players who have competed in all four of tennis’ Grand Slam tournaments, two NCAA Champions, and former Davis Cup players from several countries. Among other tennis honors, he has earned five year-end #1 rankings in divisions sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association and its affiliates (USTA Southern and USTA Alabama), played on three USTA League Tennis teams invited to the USTA National Championships, captained six teams to USTA Southern Sectional Finals, and played on USTA League Tennis teams that have won more than 40 local, USTA Alabama, and USTA Southern Sectional titles.
Outside of his sports and entertainment practice, Bill focuses his practice in the areas of corporate and business transaction law and wireless telecommunications law. To read more about his corporate practice, please visit his Burr.com bio here.