Brian Michael Cooper*

Partner

  • location icon Denver, CO
    1700 Lincoln Street
    Suite 4000
    Denver, CO 80203
  • location icon Houston, TX
    24 Greenway Plaza
    Suite 1400
    Houston, TX 77046
  • location icon New York, NY
    77 Water Street
    Suite 2100
    New York, NY 10005

Brian Michael Cooper is a partner in the Denver (*not yet licensed in Colorado), Houston, and New York offices of Lewis Brisbois, and is a member of the Entertainment, Media, and Sports Practice.

As a sports attorney and advisor, Mr. Cooper has negotiated player contracts, product endorsement agreements for athletes and manufacturers; sponsorship agreements for teams, leagues, and corporations; event management agreements; licensing and apparel agreements; arena and training facility leases; content and distribution agreements; and operating agreements. As president of a championship NBA Development League team, Mr. Cooper also negotiated the first hybrid affiliation agreement between an NBA team and NBA D-League team. 

Mr. Cooper also has represented athletes, leagues, recording artists, record companies, and entertainment production companies on various intellectual property matters, including the review of software licenses, digital rights agreements, and the defense of artists and producers in copyright infringement actions. Mr. Cooper also has experience working on antitrust matters, including the representation of pro sports leagues in defense of antitrust claims brought by players, and the representation of film, television, print media, and digital media companies in relation to FTC/DOJ transaction review. 

As a sports media executive, Mr. Cooper also negotiated distribution agreements with national sports networks, league and conference-owned networks, and regional sports networks. As a pro and college sports executive, marketer and consultant, Mr. Cooper advised sports and entertainment clients on a wide range of business matters including: advertising, risk management, licensing, marketing, sponsorship, ticketing, media, facilities, and operations. 

Mr. Cooper has served as a lecturer on sports law and sports finance at Rice University and St. John's Law School, and is a regular speaker, panelist, instructor, and media guest on a wide range of sports topics.

Legal Experience

Mr. Cooper has worked earlier in his career at national law firms in New York and Houston.

Publications

  • Author: “Should NCAA, Pro Leagues Pay the Cost of Insuring Elite Athletes?” Sports Business Journal (Feb. 11, 2008)
  • Author: “Spira v. USATF/IAAF” Sports Litigation Alert, Vol. 4, Issue 11 (June 22, 2007)

Certifications

  • NFLPA Contract Advisor (2007-08)
  • NBPA Player Agent (1999-2004, 2006-08)

Community Activities

  • Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts (Vice President, Board of Directors, 2012-13, Member, Board of Directors, 2006-13)
  • Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston (Member, Board of Directors, 2004-08; Tapestry Gala Chair, 2008)

Professional Presentations

  • Speaker: Cornell University ILR Sports Business Society (March 2016) 
  • Panelist: “A Look Inside Sports Contracts and Negotiations” Rice University Sports Business Society (March 2014)
  • Panelist: “To Draft or not to Draft? Exploring Athlete Images,” Rice University Sports Business Society (April 2013)
  • Speaker: “2011 NBA CBA and Lockout,” SELS Sports Law Conference, Texas Southern University (April 2012) 
  • Panelist: “Labor Issues in Sport: A Discussion with Experts from Industry,” Rice University Sports Business Society (Oct. 2011) 
  • Speaker: “Legal Issues Related to Operating a Pro Sports Franchise,” Houston Bar Association Sports and Entertainment Section (Feb. 2009)
  • Panelist: “Injury Grievances & Workers Comp. for NFL Players,” Sports & Entertainment Law Section, State Bar of Texas (Oct. 2008)
  • Panelist: “The Inside Perspective on the Business of Sports Law: From NFL to NBA,” National Bar Association Annual Conference (July 2008)
  • Speaker: “Off-Field Player Conduct & Bonus Recoupment,” SELS Sports Law Conference, Texas Southern University (Feb. 2008)
  • Speaker: “Fairness & Unfairness of Rules Relating to Declaring for the NBA and NFL Draft,” Houston Bar Association (July 2007)
  • Panelist: “Negotiation of Sponsorships and Endorsements” SELS Sports Law Conference, Texas Southern University (Sept. 2006)
  • Panelist: “Running a Sports Organization: A Legal Perspective,” SELS Sports Law Conference, Texas Southern University (Sept. 2005)

Admissions

New York

Texas

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

Associations

  • State Bar of Texas (Entertainment and Sports Section)
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association 
  • Houston Bar Association 
  • Sam Cary Bar Association

Awards & Honors

  • 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 Texas Rising Star by Law and Politics and Texas Monthly magazines
  • 2009 and 2012 Outstanding Service Award, Houston Bar Association, Entertainment & Sports Law Section
  • 2014 Chairman’s Award, Houston Bar Association, Entertainment & Sports Law Section

Education

Columbia Law School

Juris Doctor, 1997

Harvard University

Master of Public Policy, 1996

Cornell University

Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, 1992

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