Luncheon Keynote — Michael McCann

March 15, 2018

Executive Summary

Michael McCann, sports law columnist for Sports Illustrated, discussed crisis management strategies for brands endorsed by professional athletes who become controversial. In a broad overview, Professor McCann detailed so-called "morals clauses" in athletes' endorsement contracts and the circumstances in which those clauses tend to be used. Examples included Ryan Lochte losing a lucrative endorsement deal for embellishing the robbery story in Brazil and how a brand stood beside Maria Sharapova despite her being banned for doping. Professor McCann also discussed NFL players' loss of endorsement deals due to engaging in protest while the national anthem played and how former NFL running back Rashard Mendenhall sued an apparel company that dropped him for tweeting sympathetic remarks about Osama Bin Laden. This session also offered tips on marketer and legal counsel strategies to avoid brand-damaging controversies surrounding athlete endorsements.

Michael McCann
Assoc. Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Law
University of New Hampshire School of Law

CLE Materials

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