In spring 2021, Miami Law was the first U.S. law school with a week-long, full course in the emerging area of Sneaker Law. Provided through the school’s LL.M. in Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law, and encompassing the areas of intellectual property law, sports law, and labor law, the course covered an overview of the $90bn sneaker industry.
The expert adjunct faculty were Kenneth Anand and Jared Goldstein, authors of the seminal book Sneaker Law: All You Need to Know About the Sneaker Business which covers the business and legal sides to the sneaker industry and includes an exploration into the intersection of sneaker business, design, and law.
Anand, co-founder of SNEAKER LAW, is former Head of Business Development & General Counsel of YEEZY Apparel, a fashion and design company owned and operated by Kanye West and currently a co-founder of 3 8 0 Group, a licensing, production and distribution company of premium apparel, footwear & accessories. Goldstein, also co-founder of SNEAKER LAW, is Legal Counsel at LiveIntent, an ad-tech and marketing company.
Timely and Practical Training for Law Students
The goal of the course was to prepare students to think and act as lawyers and business professionals through addressing the principal issues faced by sneaker companies, designers, manufacturers, and other parties involved in the sneaker industry.
When asked how the course would benefit law students, Anand says, “Students who take Sneaker Law will learn how to draft and negotiate sneaker contracts; gain a strong working knowledge of the sneaker business; understand how to start their own business and brand their business; and most of all, how to step up their sneaker game!”
In one course component, students participated in a practice-oriented simulation to negotiate a full-length sneaker or sneaker licensing deal, incorporating key terms like IP, compensation, counterfeiting, design approval, distribution, marketing and promotion, exclusivity, employment, term and termination, and even morality.
A Perfect Fit into Entertainment, Arts and Sports LL.M.
For any student interested in these legal areas, Goldstein advises, “Obviously they should take the Sports Law, and Entertainment Law electives, but other core classes like Labor and Employment Law, Copyright and Trademark Law are essential to obtaining a solid background in the multi-disciplined field of Sports Law.”
He also elaborates that the Sneaker Law course is an ideal mix of the three legal areas, “Sneaker Law is actually the perfect combination of entertainment, arts, and sports law. In the industry today, you have musicians, designers, and athletes of all kinds who play an important role in the success of the sneaker industry.
“Whether it's Beyoncé, Raf Simons, or Lebron James, all of these kinds of talented individuals push the multi-billion-dollar industry forward in a massive way. In our book, we cover all of these three integral components. This is perhaps best illustrated in our chapter on Collaborations, a deep-dive into some of the most notable sneaker collabs from athletes, musicians, and fashion designers.“
Greg Levy, Director Entertainment, Arts and Sports LL.M. says, “We are thrilled to be the first law school in the country to offer Sneaker Law. When I got word of the new book, I immediately reached out to Kenneth and Jared to discuss possibilities of creating the first ever law school course on Sneaker Law.”
A Course that Gets to the “Sole” of the Sneaker Business
Anand and Goldstein taught about creating a sneaker brand, LLCs and corporations, trademarks, design and manufacturing, distribution and licensing, marketing and promotion, the secondary market, and counterfeiting.
The legal side of the industry such as litigation and case law, administrative proceedings and other disputes related to sneakers in the areas of copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secrets were also a part.
Levy is excited to have Anand and Goldstein as the ideal faculty, “Their approach to this industry, filled with complex legal and business issues, mirrors our Program’s approach to staying relevant with trends and providing the students with skills-based learning opportunities to hone their transactional lawyering skills that are so essential for the industry.”
Reflecting on teaching the course, Anand adds, “The sneaker industry shows no signs of slowing and we're extremely excited to collaborate with University of Miami's LLM program on the first full-length Sneaker Law course ever.”