- Email: Brian.Cooper@lewisbrisbois.com
- Phone: 303.562.9770
- Fax: 303.861.7767
Brian Michael Cooper is a partner in the Denver, Houston, and New York offices of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Corporate, Entertainment, Media, & Sports, and Antitrust & Competition Practices.
A four-time Super Lawyers Texas Rising Star with more than 20 years of experience as an attorney, executive, and advisor, Mr. Cooper has guided companies through all aspects of corporate transactions and operations projects. This transactional experience includes: mergers; asset acquisitions; joint ventures; partnerships; compliance with federal/state securities law; project development; business formation; general corporate and business governance; real estate; capital formation; project finance; charitable foundation formation; employment agreements; and service, vendor, and supply agreements.
Mr. Cooper’s extensive sports transactional practice has included the negotiation of: player, coach, and executive agreements; product endorsement agreements for athletes and manufacturers; naming rights and sponsorship agreements for teams, leagues, and corporations; licensing and apparel agreements; ticketing arrangements; concessionaire agreements; seat license agreements; suite licenses; arena and training facility leases; content and distribution agreements; insurance/risk management policies and agreements; media rights agreements; charitable foundation agreements; government relations and regulations; and arena operating agreements. As president and general counsel of a championship NBA Gatorade League team, Mr. Cooper negotiated the first hybrid affiliation agreement between an NBA team and NBA G-League team.
Entertainment & Media
As a media attorney and executive, Mr. Cooper has negotiated transactions involving various entertainment entities, corporate advertisers, along with national sports networks, league/conference-owned networks, and regional sports networks. This experience includes drafting, analyzing, and negotiating: content and distribution agreements; option/purchase agreements; asset acquisitions; renewal agreements; amendments; most favored nation (MFN) offers; content/minimum game commitments; event management, concert, and festival agreements; data and database protection agreements; prospective programming content term sheets and FCC regulatory issues. Within those transactions, Mr. Cooper also has served as a liaison for licensing and marketing questions between promoters, distributors, programmers and artists.
Antitrust & Competition
Utilizing his public policy background, Mr. Cooper has significant experience advising companies in various industries on federal and state antitrust matters, including: antitrust compliance programs; resale pricing programs; distribution arrangements; licensing agreements; agency business reviews; potential merger challenge and opposition; price discrimination compliance; and litigation risk assessment. He has experience in evaluating, managing, and negotiating Hart-Scott-Rodino pre-merger review proceedings (and Second Request responses) before the FTC and DOJ, handling such matters for media entities, retailers, and energy companies. Mr. Cooper also has experience on antitrust matters related to labor issues and collective bargaining agreements, including representation of pro sports leagues in defense of antitrust claims brought by players.
Intellectual Property & Technology
Mr. Cooper also has intellectual property experience, representing energy companies, retailers, athletes, leagues, recording artists, record companies, television networks, and entertainment production companies on various intellectual property matters, including the review, drafting and negotiation of software licenses; digital rights agreements; data and database protection agreements; merchandise agreements; trademark and brand license agreements; NDAs; television and film option agreements. He also has experience defending the rights of artists and producers in copyright and trademark infringement actions.
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 law and business topics.
Mr. Cooper has worked earlier in his career at national law firms in New York and Houston.
- 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)
- NFLPA Contract Advisor (2007-08)
- NBPA Player Agent (1999-2004, 2006-08)
- 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)
- Speaker: "Sign on the Dotted Line, What to Look for and Avoid in Contracts for Creative Work” Colorado Attorneys for the Arts (October 2017)
- 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: “The Impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Sports & Entertainment Industry” National Bar Association Region V CLE Seminar (July 2006)
- Panelist: “Running a Sports Organization: A Legal Perspective,” SELS Sports Law Conference, Texas Southern University (Sept. 2005)
- Speaker: “Emerging Issues in Sports and Entertainment Law,” Houston Bar Association CLE Fall Seminar Series (December 2004)
- Panelist: “Collective Bargaining Issues in the Sports Industry,” 24th Annual BESLA Conference (October 2004)
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
- 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
Columbia Law School
Juris Doctor, 1997
Master of Public Policy, 1996
Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, 1992