O’Melveny advised client Athletes Unlimited and its co-founders Jon Patricof and Jonathan Soros on their launch and strategic plan to “disrupt professional team sports.” The company will launch a series of leagues across different sports with an innovative new model of competition, starting with women’s softball in August 2020.
Athletes Unlimited seeks to upend the traditional ownership model in team sports. Investors in the company will be capped in their financial return so that the athletes will earn more of the profits as the league succeeds, and athletes will participate in company governance and key decision making. Athletes Unlimited will also offer professional development resources to help players expand their career opportunities, as well as engage a number of non-profit partners.
Athletes Unlimited leagues will feature a range of innovations to bring athletes and fans a unique and intense version of the sport. The inaugural six-week softball season will be held entirely at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, Illinois starting August 17 and will feature the world’s best professional softball players.
“The O’Melveny team was delighted to advise Athletes Unlimited on its strategic vision as a disrupter in the sports league space,” said O’Melveny partner and Sports Industry Group co-chair Chuck Baker, who led the O’Melveny team.
Baker added, “We are optimistic that this unique structure for a professional sports league, along with the phenomenal athletes competing in and running the league, will take the industry by storm and be a model that other sports leagues will seek to emulate.”
The O’Melveny team also included partner Chris Del Rosso, counsel Eric Geffner, Aaron Cha, and Andrew Banks, as well as associate Timothy Carr.