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Sports, Entertainment and Venues

Simpson Grierson is the only national law firm in New Zealand with a dedicated Sports, Entertainment & Venues team providing legal services to a broad range of sports, media and venues clients.

The team is led by one of New Zealand’s leading commercial sports lawyers, Ashton Welsh and provides clear, pragmatic and timely legal advice across a broad range of issues.

The team includes specialists in:

  • major event bidding and hosting (including the establishment of special purpose vehicles for staging major events in New Zealand)

  • commercial rights exploitation

  • media rights exploitation and television production / host broadcast agreements

  • venue management / operation (including venue hire, ticketing and catering agreements)

  • brand management and brand / rights protection

  • sales and marketing

  • gambling and gaming

  • performer, artist, and athlete endorsement arrangements

  • sports governance and the drafting of rules, regulations and policies

  • development of organisational strategy

  • regulatory compliance (including health and safety) and risk management

Our sports, entertainment, and venues team frequently work with other specialist practice areas in the firm, including employment, health & safety, intellectual property, sales & marketing, construction and tax / charities.

Examples of our work

  • New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) - developing and managing the NZOC’s New Zealand rights protection programme in respect of the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games (including updates to the permanently protected emblems and words under the Major Events Management Act 2007). Advising NZOC in respect of a number of major rights contracting and significant philanthropic gifting

  • Hockey New Zealand - advising Hockey New Zealand in its successful bid to participate in the FIH Hockey Pro League (with the Vantage Blacksticks Men and Women’s teams both selected to participate)

  • Auckland Tuatara - advising Baseball New Zealand (and subsequently Auckland Tuatara Limited Partnership) in the establishment of a new Auckland-based professional baseball team to compete in the Australian Baseball League

  • Paralympics New Zealand - advising Paralympics New Zealand in the commercialisation of its “Spirit of Gold” initiative (together with the contracting of numerous commercial rights agreements)

  • Netball New Zealand - advising Netball New Zealand in respect of its decision (along with Netball Australia) to discontinue the ANZ Championship (and to establishment the ANZ Premiership in its place)

  • Netball Quad Series - advising Netball New Zealand on continuing as a joint venture partner (along with Netball Australia, Netball South Africa and England Netball) in the Netball Quad Series

  • America’s Cup - advising an overseas America’s Cup syndicate on the establishment of its operations in New Zealand for the 36th America’s Cup

  • ASB Classic (comprising both an ATP 250 / WTA International tournament) - advising Tennis Auckland in respect of the exploitation of its domestic and international broadcast/media rights for the ASB Classic tennis tournament (including drafting an extensive Host Broadcast Production Services Agreement)

  • Yachting New Zealand - advising Yachting New Zealand across all aspects of its hosting of the 49er/49erFX/Nacra17 World Championships 2019 (including its Host Agreement with the Class Associations, Investment Agreements with NZ Major Events and ATEED and the appointment of the Akarana Marine Sports Centre Trust to host at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club)

  • Hockey New Zealand - advising Hockey New Zealand in respect of its involvement in the development of a National Hockey Stadium at North Harbour

  • Regional Facilities Auckland - advising Regional Facilities Auckland (a Council Controlled Organisation of Auckland Council) in respect of operational matters at its major venues; being Mt Smart Stadium, Western Springs Stadium and QBE Stadium