Accomplished sports industry Senior Partner Attorneys Charles Baker and Irwin Raij worked with students in the hypothetical purchase of a baseball team as part of Professor Peter Carfagna’s experiential learning short course, “Purchase and Sale of a Minor League Baseball team.”
"Purchase and Sale of a Minor League Baseball Team" short course
Goal – Offer First-Hand Experience in Complicated Transactions
Aimed at providing practical experience in the sports law field, the course saw students partake in a dynamic, months-long negotiating and contract drafting simulation in which they worked in teams to represent the buying and selling sides of a transaction involving the $30 million Charlotte Knights Minor League Baseball team. Throughout, students learned about complicated sport-related deals and mastered skills relating to analyzing, drafting, and negotiating the various “moving parts” of such agreements.
Baker and Raij acted as senior partners throughout the process, offering guidance and feedback to students - Raij on the selling side and Baker on the buying side.
“The students are very, very lucky to have exposure to them live, in real time, and up-close,” Carfagna said.
Bootcamp to Learn Essential Negotiating, Drafting Tactics
The course began with a “bootcamp” in which students learned the key points involved in a deal to purchase a sports property. Baker and Raij discussed key deals they’ve worked on throughout their careers, highlighting the nuances involved in sports deals, and taught students essential negotiating and drafting tactics for working with asset purchase agreements.
Carfagna, Baker, and Raij completed the bootcamp by simulating the negotiation of key clauses of an agreement.
Split into Teams – Buyer or Seller
Once students were split into buying and selling teams they began drafting and negotiating the deal, which entailed representations and warranties, indemnification, arbitration/dispute resolution, conditions prior to closing, and several other key clauses. Each team was also assigned a Senior Associate from O’Melveny & Myers who would provide advice throughout the drafting.
The students engaged in weekly conference calls with their assigned Partners and Associates to discuss progress and receive feedback on the draft agreement. Along the way, circumstances were altered and new facts came into light, requiring students to do additional research and renegotiate their deals accordingly, closely resembling a real-life sports property negotiation.
Passing Drafted Agreements on to Senior Associates Before Closing
When both teams finished drafting and were confident their deals were "litigation proof and execution ready," they passed them on to their Senior Associates and finally to Baker and Raij for final approval. The course concluded with a simulated deal closing on April 4th.
Chuck Baker and Irwin Raij are Co-Chairs of the Sports Industry Group at O’Melveny & Myers, one of the most selective and prestigious law firms in America according to Vault.com. Raij is also a member of Miami Law’s Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law board of advisors and for the LL.M., Baker is on the Sports Track committee.
More on Course's Expert Faculty
Charles Baker's practice encompasses mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and venture capital transactions, with a particular focus in sports. With years of experience, Baker has advised on a number of important deals including the $850 million sale of the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks in 2015 and the kit sponsorship deal between Manchester City F.C. and Nike in 2013 worth over $100 million.
Irwin Raij also has extensive experience in the sports law field, having handled new stadium development projects, financing and construction agreements, sports technology counseling/ventures, ticketing arrangements, stadium service agreements, and much more. He led the team that represented Guggenheim Baseball management (headed by Mark Walter, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Stan Kasten, and Peter Guber, among others) in the acquisition of the Lost Angeles Dodgers, which was the single largest transaction ever for a professional sports franchise. Raij has been nationally recognized in sports law in the 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.