Event organisation & tours

We advise on all aspects of the staging of major sports events and competitions, including event financing, hosting agreements, participation agreements, the sale of broadcasting and sponsorship rights, and ticketing, merchandising, and hospitality programmes. We also protect commercial programmes through anti-counterfeiting and anti-ambush marketing activities. From a regulatory perspective, we have advised on implementation of rules and regulations governing events and competitions designed to meet the needs of the client, achieve fair competition and protect the integrity of the sport. We have advised rights holders and competition organisers on these issues across a range of sports on a domestic and cross-border basis.

We assist our clients in achieving the following key aims and objectives, among others:

  • structuring special purpose vehicles to maximise their ability to commercialise the assets in relation to the event or competition;
  • the design, implementation and protection of all aspects of the commercial programme for the event or competition;
  • ensuring that rules and regulations governing the event or competition are clear and easily understandable, and procedures are in place in order to resolve any disputes and protect the integrity of the competition or event;
  • advising on a range of consumer law aspects, including travel and ticketing programmes.
  • working with clients to identify the key areas of risk in connection with staging a sporting event or competition, and how to apportion or mitigate against those risks in a manner that reflects their needs; and
  • navigating the impact of external events such as Covid-19 that may lead to (amongst other things) event postponement and/or cancellation.

Case studies

British & Irish Lions: We advised on all legal aspects of the Lions tour to South Africa in 2009, to Hong Kong and Australia in 2013, and to New Zealand in 2017, including drafting contracts for the playing and non-playing members of the tour parties, drafting staging agreements for the match in Hong Kong against the Barbarians, drafting tour and related agreements with the relevant Unions, drafting the legal documents for the ticket and travel programme joint venture, carrying out a comprehensive anti-infringement exercise protecting that ticket and travel programme, negotiating the broadcasting, sponsorship and supplier deals that underpin the commercial programme for each tour, and advising on all disciplinary issues arising during each tour. In addition, Sports Group partner Max Duthie was a member of the tour party for the entirety of the 2013 and 2017 tours, and advised and represented the Lions players and management on all disciplinary issues arising during the tours. We continue to advise the Lions on a similar range of issues in relation to their forthcoming tour to South Africa in 2021.

Tennis NSW: We advised Tennis NSW on the $50m upgrade of the Ken Rosewall Arena at Sydney Olympic Park into a world-class tennis venue (including a new roof) and drafted and negotiated the venue hire arrangements with Tennis Australia for the inaugural ATP Cup, and with Netball NSW for NSW Swifts and Giants Netball home matches.

Supreme Committee in Qatar: we are advising the Supreme Committee in Qatar in relation to Qatar 2022.

Key Contacts

Craig Giles, Robert TurnerWill Deller


Their main strength is quality, in terms of depth and breadth.”

chambers, 2020