TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League announced today it has entered an exclusive partnership with K&L Gates LLP, which becomes the Official Sports Law Firm for all USL properties. K&L Gates becomes the newest member of the USL’s Preferred Supplier Program, which has grown rapidly alongside the organization to provide high-caliber products and services to its leagues and clubs over the past 18 months.
K&L Gates is a fully-integrated global firm with full-service legal offices located across five continents. Its broad global platform allows the group to guide clients through the legal challenges that are inherent in the ever-changing international landscape. K&L Gates has a deep network of relationships across its offices and practices, which enables its clients to respond to diverse legal issues and risks through the services of one full-service firm. K&L Gates Sports Law practice group features more than 40 multidisciplinary attorneys and has extensive experience advising sports clients on a wide range of matters from stadium financing, media rights, tax planning, intellectual property matters, litigation, and sponsorship and partnership agreements.
“The addition of K&L Gates as the newest member of the Preferred Supplier Program will provide USL a major resource in soccer’s global marketplace,” said USL Chief Operating Officer Justin Papadakis. “As our ownership groups continue to become more sophisticated in their business offerings, the availability of expert legal advice from one of the most respected firms in the world became an absolute must. Whether a club is establishing a new legal structure within its organization or working through stadium financing, K&L Gates brings a wealth of substantive experience across the sports industry.”
“K&L Gates is honored to be named the exclusive Sports Law firm for the USL,” said K&L Gates partner and head of U.S. Sports Law group, John Wilson. “As a firm with deep Sports Law experience, industry knowledge, and a global footprint, we are uniquely qualified to support the USL and its member clubs now and into the future. We are excited to support the dynamic growth of the largest professional soccer league in the United States.”
The USL will oversee expansion of an estimated 30–40 new franchises in its two professional divisions, the USL Championship and USL League One, over the next five years, which will create opportunities for potential suppliers and vendors to support this growth.
Through its Preferred Supplier Program, the USL connects suppliers with new franchise owners and existing USL clubs in order to deliver the best possible experience for fans across North America. Preferred suppliers are “Best in Class” companies that provide services and products to professional franchises and stadium developers and must meet the USL’s strict quality standards. The USL is currently in discussions with suppliers that support stadium development, as well as the buildout of team front offices and operations.
For more information on the USL Preferred Supplier Program, contact Josh Keller at Josh.Keller@uslsoccer.com.