October 20, 2017 – The Fall 2017 St. John’s Law Alumni Magazine features a cover story on SJU alums working in the sports and entertainment industry, and includes comments from Jeff Fannell. You can read the full article here.
Ryan Lake, President, Beyond the Playbook Among my most enjoyable experiences over the years has been serving as an adjunct professor and mentor to law students and young professionals. It’s great to see former students and mentees begin and grow into their careers. And it’s even better when we can stay in touch and continue to foster a positive relationship. Ryan Lake, President of the sports consultancy firm, Beyond the Playbook, earned his LLM in International Sports Law Practice from St. John’s University School of Law in 2013. As a professor in the LLM program, I had the pleasure of having Ryan in my U.S. Sports Law class. Recently, I caught up with Ryan to find out how his career is progressing. JF: You completed the LLM program in 2013. What have you been up to since then? RL: First, I would like to thank you for being a mentor, your guidance has had a tremendous impact on my career. Since completing the LLM program, I’ve been able to explore a wide array of areas in the sports industry. Immediately following the LLM program, I worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee, where I worked on issues ranging from anti-doping, […]
The first three weeks of February is salary arbitration season in Major League Baseball. A time when eligible players and their clubs try to hammer out contracts for the coming year. If those efforts fail, the matter is presented to a panel of labor arbitrators who will decide the issue after hearing arguments from the player, club, the union and the Commissioner’s Office. Clubs hold the historical edge in salary arbitration hearings. According to the MLBPA website, through 2012, arbitrators have ruled for clubs in 286 cases and for players in 214. This is generally reflective of labor arbitration, where employers win more than they lose. More than one cynic has suggested that such is way arbitrators ensure they continue to get cases. For the record, I’ll only say that I find this observation curiously fascinating. After I retire or move on from handling arbitration cases, chances are I may have other thoughts, but for now I simply remain fascinated. Another facet of baseball’s salary arbitration process that has captured my attention is the particular dilemma that agents face that affects the outcome of many negotiations. First, consider that the process is designed to foster settlements by creating risk – […]
JAMAICA, NEW YORK – August 17th, Kap Misir, Senior Associate at Jeff Fannell & Associates, joins the adjunct faculty at St. John’s University School of Law. Kap will be teaching a first-of-its-kind course at St. John’s Law in Salary Negotiation & Arbitration in Sports. The course takes an in-depth, comparative look at the salary arbitration rules and procedures in Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Kap, and his co-professor, Ryan Lake, of the Denver-based Lake Law Group, will guide students in developing contract negotiation skills, and in the preparation and presentation of salary arbitration cases. Kap has extensive experience in MLB salary arbitration and contract negotiation, while Ryan has similar expertise in professional hockey. Kap received his undergraduate degree in Legal Studies from St. John’s University, his J.D. from Western Michigan University, Cooley Law School and his LL.M in U.S. and International Sports Law from St. John’s University School of Law. He returns to St. John’s to teach the one-credit intensive course, which will run from August 17 through August 27.
August 16, 2016 – Jeff Fannell & Associates is pleased to announce that it has signed University of Maryland Assistant Soccer Coach, Scott Buete as a client. JFA will represent Scott in all areas of contract negotiation, marketing, and endorsements. “We are excited for the opportunity to represent Scott,” said JFA senior associate Kap Misir. “Among the nation’s collegiate soccer coaches, we believe Scott is a rising star.” Scott is in his third year as the assistant coach for the Maryland Terrapins, which is widely regarded as one of the top Division-1 soccer programs in the country. In 2014, the Terps advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament; last year, they advanced to the Elite Eight. They enter this year ranked No. 4 in the pre-season coaches’ poll and are expected to be in the running to capture the NCAA national title. A graduate of the University, Scott played five years for the Terps (1999-2003), the last three serving as team captain. In 2002, Scott led Maryland to the ACC Tournament title. In his senior year, he was named NSCAA First Team All-American, and was selected to the All-ACC First Team and the ACC All-Tournament Team. Scott finished […]
In the just-completed NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers did what no team in league history had previously done – overcome a 3-1 series deficit in the final round of the playoffs and claim the championship. As Cleveland grinded its way to the top of the NBA heap, we witnessed a fall from grace for Steph Curry and his wife, Ayesha. Over the last two years, the Currys became the toast of basketball – the NBA’s first family, if you will. Then came game four of the NBA Finals. The Warriors won, giving them what appeared to be a commanding 3-1 series lead. Toward the end of the game, LeBron James and Warriors star Draymond Green got into a skirmish that led to Green’s one-game suspension. That prompted Ayesha Curry to direct smack LeBron’s way before Game 5, won by the Cavs. Then, as the Cavs were blowing out the Dubs in Game 6, and Curry was hacking his way to the bench, he angrily threw his mouthpiece, hitting a fan. After the game, Ayesha took to Twitter and claimed the NBA was rigged. Funny, but I don’t recall her saying the league was rigged when Steph and the […]
One of the key components to success in business, no matter your chosen field, is the ability to network effectively. This is as true for young professionals just entering their profession as it is for the more grizzled veterans of the trade. I have been blessed over the years to have a strong, vibrant, supportive network of colleagues, friends and associates in the sports business who have been a tremendous help to me in so many ways and on so many occasions. I would hope that I have added value to many of them as well, but that’s not for me to say. At this stage in my career, I continue networking, albeit a bit more strategically than when I started out. Early on, I thought carpet-bombing my resume all over the professional sports landscape was the way to make inroads that would help me advance my career. That didn’t work out too well. Recalling the mistakes of my youth, and in appreciation for all of the help I have received and continue to receive, I am dedicated to building a different kind of network these days. One that will last for years to come. I am actively seeking young […]
In April, the NBA approved the sale of jersey sponsorships as part of a three-year pilot program beginning with the 2017-18 season. The League believes the program will be a financial boon, with expected revenue projected at $100-$150 million a year. According to ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell, teams will keep half of the revenue generated by their individual sponsorship sales, with half of that going into a revenue-sharing pool. The other half will be split with the players. Ads involving gambling, politics or alcohol are prohibited, as are sponsorships with competitors of key League partners, including broadcast partners ESPN, ABC and Turner; Spalding (the official ball); and Tissot (official timekeeper). The Philadelphia 76ers became the first team to land a jersey sponsor, agreeing to a three-year, $15 million deal with StubHub. Immediately after the deal was announced, critics assailed the sponsorship program, claiming, among other things, that the ads cheapen the NBA brand and otherwise signify impending doom. The critics are misguided. First of all, the ads measure just 2.5 x 2.5 inches, and will be placed on the jersey’s left shoulder. So the sponsorship patches will not dominate the uniform. Players will not be plastered with huge ads, á la […]
PHOENIX, AZ- Tuesday March 8th, Jeff Fannell, President of Jeff Fannell & Associates, will be speaking at the MLB Diversity Business Summit, featuring some of the best talent the business has to offer. Jeff will speak on panel “The Laws of Baseball: The Complexity of the Legal Issues of the Game” in two separate sessions. The complexity of the game of baseball on the field of play is matched only by the complex legal issues surrounding the business of the game. Panelists will speak about a broad spectrum of topics ranging from labor issues (including collective bargaining and player arbitrations) to intellectual property issues (including the licensing and protection of trademarks and copyrights) to a whole host of topics that teams are faced with on a day-to-day basis (including complex contract negotiations and issues relating to facility management, marketing, security and customer satisfaction). The MLB Diversity Business Summit is the premier sports employment conference and supplier diversity trade fair. This two-day event allows job seekers and entrepreneurs the unique opportunity of meeting with MLB’s Clubs at both the Major League and Minor League levels as well as sponsorship partners. For more info on attendance and speakers visit: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/mlb_official_info_diverse.jsp?content=summit […]
On Thursday, November 19th a trio of veteran sports agents will host the inaugural Salary Arbitration in Sports conference at St. John’s University School of Law in Queens. The SAS conference will feature representatives from Major League Baseball, MLBPA, certified agents and former players, all with comprehensive experience in salary arbitration. Students, professionals and sports fans alike are invited to come join us for an in-depth look at this one-of-a-kind process. Hear from salary arbitration experts and industry veterans: Jeff, Fannell of Jeff Fannell & Associates; Rex Gary, Turner Gary-Sports; Mike Nicotera, The Sparta Group; Gregg E. Clifton, Jackson Lewis, P.C.; Rick Shapiro, MLBPA; Paul Mifsud, Labor Relations, MLB; John Ricco, NY Mets; Omar Minaya, MLBPA; and CJ Nitkowski, Former MLB Player; Jay Reisinger, Farrell & Reisinger, LLC; Matthew Swartz, MLB TradeRumors; Jason Belzer, GAME, Inc. and Forbes.com, and more. At the SAS Conference, seasoned participants in the art of salary arbitration will share their insights and experiences through a full day of panel discussions and question-and-answer sessions. The conference is the inspiration of experienced certified sports agents Jeff Fannell of, Mike Nicotera and Rex Gary. FrontOfficeSports.org, one of the Nation’s fastest growing sources for #Sportsbiz insight and education will […]