<em>Legally</em> <strong>Speaking</strong>


Read Jim's 2010 Baseball Winter Meetings presentation on ballpark liability, the Anheuser-Busch sponsorship lawsuit and health care reform for teams.

Read Jim's tips on sponsorship and naming rights agreements, presented at the 2010 Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar.

Read Jim's presentation on ballpark liability, ballpark leases and Minor League Baseball-regulated transactions at the 2009 Baseball Winter Meetings.

Read Jim's 2008 Baseball Winter Meetings presentation on ballpark liability and ADA amendments.


Using the off-season to prevent problems later

At my presentation at the Bob Freitas Business Seminar and Workshop Series at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando in December, we covered some of the bases on the topic, "Things You Can Do Now to Save Problems Later: Off-Season Record Reviews That Will Keep You Out of Trouble."

We started the discussions with provisions of ballpark leases and liability insurance that might benefit from off-season attention, and went on to personnel matters, issues with mascots and more.

Read a summary of the discussions.

Read an outline of the presentation.

More than a name change

Kudos to Akron RubberDucks owner and CEO Ken Babby and his management team for the recently announced improvements at Canal Park. They will include an all-year restaurant, a new picnic area creatively named "Fowl Territory" and premium sections in left and right fields.

These follow the unveiling of the new identity for the team, the former Akron Aeros, and provide an example of the positive thinking that makes Minor League Baseball such an important factor in our communities.

The change in the team name, the new jazzy logo, the stadium features and now these entertainment amenities will generate much interest and attendance in the coming years. Maybe more important, these improvements will bring people together in a way that only baseball can do.

As I've said before, the creativity of team owners never ceases to amaze me. The new identity, which features the stunning snarling duck logo, is more than cosmetic. Important business strategies that involve marketing, promotion and intellectual property rights seem to be at play, and the ballpark improvements help bear that out.


The Akron team finished its first season under new ownership with new marketing strategies. Changing the name and the team logo will provide not only a new image but new marketing opportunities, including the goods and merchandise for sale inside and outside the ballpark in team stores.

Teams shift identities all the time, altering logos and uniforms and creating new demand for apparel and other merchandise. But a total makeover with a change in mascot does not happen that often. Coupled with the attendance boomlet of the predecessor Akron Aeros this last season, timing is in the teamís favor. Advertisers will no doubt want to join the hoopla with new or renewal campaigns.


A fresh owner has an opportunity for innovative promotion of the team and all of its revenue streams. The new name and logo has already created valuable mentions in print, broadcast and social media, and will continue to do so.

Intellectual Property Rights

The team has also created valuable intellectual property rights in the new name and logo materials, including protection through copyright and trademark registrations.

In addition, because Minor League Baseball has the right to approve any changes in name or logo, it will assist in the protection of the mark and its defense against infringers. These are important legal rights that add considerable value to the team.


This website contains general information that should not be considered legal advice or legal opinion concerning individual situations. Legal counsel should be consulted for specific advice.

Copyright 2004-2012 by L. James Juliano Jr.
Legally Speaking® is a registered trademark of the law practice of L. James Juliano Jr.