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Business Entity Protections and Obligations for U.S. Professional Esports Talent and Companies: 8 Things to Know

Individuals and companies in all industries form and utilize business entities for a variety of unique benefits and protections. In fact, a separate business entity, such as a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC), may be established by a professional gamer, streamer, content creator, caster, or any other party working in the esports space or on behalf of gaming talent in the United States. The selection of which business entity to form is an initial crucial decision. Whether the individual forms a C-Corporation, a S-Corporation, or an LLC (or some other entity type), typically depends on which state the vehicle will be formed in and which jurisdiction the owner permanently resides in or has a steady physical residence unless a registered agent is utilized. Accordingly, it is prudent to consult with a qualified professional, such as an attorney and/or accountant, when deciding which type of business entity and which location is proper for a particular individual. This determination is important because each state has its own benefits, drawbacks, specific costs, and maintenance requirements which all may be relevant factors in a business owner’s decision.

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Business Entity

1. Business Entity Types and Location Selection

Once the U.S. state and the proper business entity are designated, such as a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC), the gaming talent, business owner, or independent representative must file the necessary incorporation or formation documentation with the selected state’s department of corporations or other similar governmental department (which differs in each state). In fact, many gaming talent and companies in the professional gaming industry have already established formal business entities to operate and conduct business from including formulating both corporations and LLCs in a variety of states.

For instance, popular gaming influencer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins created a Delaware Limited Liability Company, “Ninja Holdings, LLC.”[i] Similarly, professional gamer Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek operates a California Corporation which owns several of registered trademarks, “Shroud, Inc.”[ii] In addition, notable video game streamer Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo owns a Delaware Limited Liability Company, “Lupo Creative, LLC.”[iii] Finally, professional gaming organization, One True King (OTK) own and operate a Delaware corporation, “OTK Media, Inc.”[iv]

2. “Loan-Out” Companies and Personal Asset Protection

Generally, business entities created on behalf of a specific individual are referred to as a “loan-out” company. These loan-out companies typically enter into a contract with a third-party on behalf of the talent as part of a loan-out agreement. Accordingly, the business entity licenses and sells the gamer’s services and “name, image, and likeness” rights to other companies including monetizing the talent’s endorsement, competitive gaming, creative, marketing, or any other agreed upon services.

Consequently, one important advantage that an entity provides to its owner is shielding their personal assets from any claims arising from any contracts or other arrangements entered into by the loan-out company. For example, this protection might apply to any cars, real estate, houses, stocks, bonds, securities, bank accounts, or any other assets owned by the individual gaming talent. This unique benefit means that the corporate entity, not the owner of it, would conceivably be liable for any debts or contractual obligations of the business so that creditors generally cannot recover against the owner’s personal assets.

Essentially, if an individual properly entered into the original deal on their behalf through their loan-out entity, then a sponsor, a league organizer, or some other third-party creditor who desires or possesses an existing claim or cause of action against an individual might only be apply to recover a judgment or debt from the business entity and its assets (which might be minimal to nonexistence) and not directly from the individual owner and their personal assets (which might be substantial).

3. Forming a Corporate Bank Account and Obtaining an Employer Identification Number (E.I.N.)

While shielding an individual proprietor from personal liability is one of the most significant advantages of creating a limited liability entity, there are also several other important benefits that an entity provides its owner. For instance, the existence of a registered entity enables the owner to open a business bank account in the company’s name.

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Accordingly, the use of this type of bank account facilitates the easier tracking and payment of expenses and permits the deduction or “writing off” of relevant, properly documented business expenses. These expenditures might include the cost of the equipment to record and stream the gaming content as well as the amounts paid for marketing or promoting their streaming channel or created content (i.e. Instagram “boosts” or paid advertisements).

Similarly, a gaming talent might attempt to recoup the costs of any video recording or editing software used to create the final content as well as any amounts associated with data storage or transmission of the gaming stream or media, such as internet access or “cloud” costs. Also, any associated expenses incurred during a gamer’s business trip or competition may also be deductible, such as hotel, flight, food, and drinks costs. However, it is important that an owner is cautious in the usage of the business bank accounts to ensure that they separate business funds from any personal ones and do not comingle them.

Additionally, the creation of a formal business entity permits the company to receive an Employer Identification Number (“E.I.N.”) also known as a Tax-Identification Number (“Tax-Id”) in the United States. In essence, an E.I.N. is analogous to the company’s social security number and it is beneficial to obtain it because many third-party companies and businesses require this information to compensate the individual as opposed to paying the person directly. Finally, a valid business entity also permits the owner to obtain any potentially required business licenses and insurance that might be needed so that they can operate efficiently and legally.

4. Use of Operating Agreements and Shareholder Agreements for Ownership and Investments

Another benefit for a business owner is that a limited liability entity such as a corporation or an LLC is typically governed by a written contract that outlines how the entity will operate and who owns it. For example, this document is referred to as an “operating agreement” for an LLC and as a “shareholder agreement” for a corporation. Consequently, these documents may be utilized when there are multiple owners of one entity.

While the substance of these agreements differs, they generally include an outline of the split of any profits and losses of the business among its owners as well as specifying how any management decisions are addressed including describing the process to add or remove an existing or prospective owner.

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As a result, the creation and execution of this type of document provides the business owner with flexibility to potentially bring in outside investors and third-party investments into the entity from additional business partners who all act as owners of the single entity. In fact, these controlling documents enable each different owner to receive varying percentages and ownership interests in the company as agreed upon by the parties in the writing.

5. Management and Licensing of Company’s Intellectual Property (IP) and Tangible Property

Furthermore, the existence and creation of a corporation or an LLC provides for the easy management and licensing of any creator-owned intellectual property to third parties including the talent or company’s trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, and any other confidential business information. Similarly, the entity could also own or lease tangible property such as computer and gaming equipment, real property, and potentially even secure a business loan or other lines of “credit” through the business. In addition, the existing entity can invest in other companies and businesses to possess ownership interests in them to act as a “holding company” for the gaming talent.

6. Maintenance Requirements and “Piercing the Corporate Veil”

While business entities provide numerous benefits to their owners, there are potential ways a third-party can “pierce the corporate veil” and disregard an existing corporate entity’s protection of its owners. Accordingly, this action would enable a creditor to attempt to attach and recover any owed debts from an individual’s personal assets instead of solely retrieving them from the company. However, to mitigate this potential risk, it is essential that the company owner follows any and all statutory procedures and guidelines which differ in each state. For instance, it is vital that the entity is only utilized for a proper business purpose, and it is not just merely utilized as a shield from personal liability.

Additionally, the owner must adhere to all mandated statutory formalities which might include the preparation of annual corporate minutes to ensure the entity is a real functioning business. Furthermore, some states may have distinct requirements that must be followed to keep an existing corporation or LLC active. For instance, some jurisdictions mandate that an entity prepare and file an annual or biennial statement or similar yearly report.

These maintenance filings would be in addition to any initial ownership document as well as a company’s yearly corporate tax obligations. Consequently, if an owner fails to timely submit any required document, then the proprietor may be subject to late fees and penalties assessed by the government or even potentially having their entity dissolved and ruled inactive.

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7. Corporate Transparency Act Obligations for New and Existing Corporation and LLC Owners

Finally, as of 1 January 2024, the Corporate Transparency Act (“CT Act”) established new obligations for all current as well as prospective U.S. business entities. Specifically, the Corporate Transparency Act created new requirements for all existing as well as any new and foreign businesses operating in the United States. In particular, the law applies to all non-exempt corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and any other formal business entity created and operating in the country.

As a result, the owners of any existing company must comply with this statute by filing a Beneficial Ownership Information (“BOI”) report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”). While there are some professions that are excused from this additional filing requirement, the owners of a non-exempt entity who fails to timely comply with and file the required BOI report may be subject to potential fees and criminal liability including a possible “USD 500” a day financial penalty.

Since most “loan-out” companies and other service-driven esports professionals operate entities that generally do not qualify for any of the enumerated statutory exemptions, it is crucial that any currently existing corporations and LLCs as well as any individual intending to create an entity in the future prepare and submit the necessary BOI report prior to the mandated deadlines to avoid potential financial penalties and other potential liability.

8. Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Deadlines

Specifically, this law requires that any business entity that existed prior to 1 January 2024, must file an initial Beneficial Ownership Information report no later than 1 January 2025. An owner’s failure to timely and properly file the BOI report by deadline may result in them being charged a monetary penalty of USD 500 per day. Additionally, any company created or registered on or after 1 January 2024, but before 1 January 2025, must file the mandated BOI report within 90 calendar days of the entity’s registration date. Finally, any business entity formed on or after 1 January 2025, is required to submit a BOI report within 30 calendar days after the entity is created.

Accordingly, the statute requires a business owner to submit information on all the company’s “beneficial” owners as well as for any third-party entity or “company applicant” that filed and established the entity on their behalf.

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A BOI report includes information on all the “beneficial owners” of an entity as of the time of the filing. In particular, a party must submit an image of an approved “identification document” such as a valid U.S. passport or U.S. driver’s license along with a listing of every owner’s full name, date of birth, and residential address. Furthermore, any new entity that is created on or after 1 January 2024, is also required to file a company applicant’s report in addition the mandated BOI report.[v]

Accordingly, a reporting company is required to submit this additional filing which contains information on the filing entity’s legal name, the current address of the company’s principal place of business, the state of the filing party, and the entity’s E.I.N..

However, it is important to note that any entities formulated prior to 1 January 2024, do not need to file a company applicant report but they must still file the initial Beneficial Ownership Information report by the above deadline. In contrast to state annual reports or biennial statements, there is no annual BOI reporting requirement under the CT Act. Instead, a non-exempt reporting company must only file additional BOI reports whenever the company’s submitted information needs to be updated or revised, such as through the inclusion or removal of a listed beneficial owner from the entity.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many benefits and protections that professional gamers and businesses operating in the esports space might obtain by establishing a formal business entity. In addition to the personal asset protections provided by a corporation or an LLC, the ability for the owner to easily license and manage any owned intellectual property as well as physical assets provides additional value for a gaming talent or company working in the professional video game industry.

Accordingly, in order to secure and maintain the protections provided by these limited liability entities, all business operators must ensure that they comply with the Corporate Transparency Act provisions as well as follow any yearly or periodic filing requirements mandated by a state including preparing corporate minutes, annual reports and Statement of Information documents. As the industry continues to evolve and expand, the importance of proper business practices becomes increasingly crucial to the success of any professional gamer or esports business.

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[i] < Ninja Holdings, LLC>, Del. LLC File No. 7002096.

[ii] < Shroud, Inc.>, Cal. Corp. Entity No. 4529193.

[iii] < Lupo Creative, LLC>, Del. LLC File No. 7094676.

[iv] < OTK Media, Inc.>, Del. Corp. File No. 3573076

[v] 31 CFR § 1010.380(b)(2)(iv). (https://www.fincen.gov/boi/small-entity-compliance-guide)

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Author

  • Justin M. Jacobson

    Justin M. Jacobson, Esq. is an entertainment and esports attorney located in New York City. For the last decade, he has worked with professional athletes, musicians, producers, DJs, record labels, fashion designers, as well as professional gamers, streamers, coaches, on-air talent, and esports organizations. He assists these creative individuals with their contract, copyright, trademark, immigration, tax, and related business, marketing, and legal issues. He is a frequent contributor to many industry publications and has been featured on a variety of entertainment, music, and esports publications and podcasts, including Business Insider, The Esports Observer, Esports Insider, Tunecore, and Sport Techie. Justin has positioned himself as a top esports business professional working with talent in a variety of franchise leagues including the Overwatch League, Overwatch Contenders, and Call of Duty Pro League as well as in many popular competitive titles such as Fortnite, CS:GO, Gears of War, Halo, Super Smash Brothers, Rainbow 6, PUBG, Madden, and FIFA and mobile games such as Brawlhalla, Clash of Clans, and Call of Duty mobile. Previously, he worked with various esports talent agencies as well as in an official capacity on behalf of several esports teams and brands. He currently is an Adjunct Professor of Esports at University of North Carolina Wilmington, a member of the industry board for the International Journal of Esports and has authored “The Essential Guide to the Business & Law of Esports & Professional Video Gaming.”

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Esports Washing: A New Chapter in Russian Esports with the Formation of ARKI

The landscape of Russian esports is undergoing a transformative shift with the formation of the Cyber Sports Infrastructure Development Association (ARKI), another initiative for ‘esports washing’. Industry giants, led by Langame, a developer of specialized software for cyber clubs, are uniting to advance the sector. Dmitry Lukin, the founder of Langame, and Pavel Golubev, the company head, have pioneered this initiative.

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Esports Washing in Russia ARKI | ELN

A Unified Front in Russian Esports

The Russian esports industry is witnessing a significant transformation and another step in esports washing as major players unite to form the Cyber Sports Infrastructure Development Association (ARKI). Spearheaded by Langame, a developer of specialized software for cyber clubs, ARKI promises to redefine the esports landscape in Russia.

Founded by Langame’s founder, Dmitry Lukin, and company head Pavel Golubev, ARKI is already gaining traction with prominent cyber club networks like Colizeum, True Gamers, and CyberX, as well as EZ Katka and F5 Cyber Sports Center, joining as members. This move signifies a united effort to bolster the industry’s growth and address the challenges it faces, including taxation and regulatory recognition.

The establishment of ARKI marks an era of proactive engagement for the industry. With 460 clubs under Colizeum, 114 arenas across Russia and CIS under True Gamers, and 220 clubs with CyberX, the association commands a significant presence in the esports sector. ARKI is not just for club networks but is open to hardware suppliers, software developers, and representatives from gaming industries and esports organizations, reflecting a comprehensive approach to industry challenges.

Navigating the Tax Jungle

One of ARKI’s primary goals is to advocate for the inclusion of cyber clubs and esports arenas in the patent tax system, a move that would simplify the tax process by allowing clubs to pay a fixed sum based on their specific type and location of operations. This system could replace the traditional tax declaration and payment process, offering a streamlined approach beneficial for smaller entities.

“The introduction of a tax system tailored for esports arenas and cyber clubs could significantly ease the bureaucratic burden these entities currently face,”

a Langame spokesperson explained.

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Redefining Esports as a Sport

In addition to tax reform, ARKI aims to work on the legislative recognition of computer clubs and esports arenas as official sports venues. This recognition could transform how these entities operate and are perceived within the wider sports and recreational sectors.

The move towards forming ARKI is seen as a logical step in the evolution of the esports industry, which has already surpassed movie theaters in revenue generation. Many clubs are privately owned and categorize their revenue under equipment rental, which aligns with ARKI’s interest in patent tax utilization, indicating a strategic move towards financial optimization and regulatory compliance.

Moreover, Vasily Ovchinnikov, head of the Video Game Industry Development Organization, supports this initiative, highlighting its potential to dismantle barriers and foster growth. He notes the complex nature of the current system where computer clubs are taxed similarly to entertainment segments, which ARKI could address through its advocacy for beneficial tax positions and legislative recognition.

Esports vs. Traditional Entertainment: A Financial Juggernaut

The formation of ARKI is not merely a business maneuver but a reflection of the esports industry’s growth trajectory, which now outpaces traditional cinema in terms of revenue.

“The esports industry has evolved from a niche entertainment sector to a major economic entity, necessitating a formal structure like ARKI to advocate for its interests,”

noted Vasily Ovchinnikov, head of the Video Game Industry Development Organization. However, this rapid growth has not been without its challenges. The existing tax regime, tailored more towards general entertainment than competitive gaming, imposes a significant financial burden on club owners, who often categorize their revenues under equipment rental to mitigate tax liabilities.

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Interestingly, the Russian Esports Federation (RESF) of Russia, established in 2016, has also been active in promoting the interests of the industry, achieving recognition of esports as an official discipline, and advocating for benefits such as military service deferments for esports athletes. However, ARKI’s formation signifies a broader coalition aiming to enhance the structural and regulatory framework of the esports industry further.

Sporting Venue or Recreational Facility? The Ongoing Debate

The distinction between recreational and sporting venues becomes particularly poignant in locations where alcohol sales can coexist with esports activities, as in shopping centers.

“The coexistence of alcohol sales and esports competitions in the same venues complicates their classification and requires careful regulatory consideration,”

Ovchinnikov added. This situation necessitates a clear regulatory framework to distinguish between purely entertainment-oriented clubs and those that genuinely foster competitive esports.

The Future of Russian Esports

For the industry, the stakes are high, and the potential is immense. With esports clubs seeing a 15% revenue increase in 2023 alone, reaching 23 billion rubles, the formation of ARKI could be the cornerstone of a new developmental phase for Russian esports. This unified approach could not only address immediate financial and regulatory challenges but also pave the way for a sustainable and recognized esports ecosystem in Russia.

Russia’s Esports Strategy

While the strategic formation of ARKI highlights the potential of Russian esports, it also casts a light on a broader tactic often seen in Russian governance: leveraging emerging industries like esports to project a modern, technologically advanced image while possibly overlooking deeper systemic issues such as regulation and international perception. This ‘esports washing’ raises questions about the sincerity of efforts to nurture the industry organically versus using it as a facade for enhancing national prestige.

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With material from: kommersant.ru

Author

  • Leonid Shmatenko

    Leonid Shmatenko is part of Eversheds Sutherlands’ data protection and technology law team. He has vast experience in regulatory and general issues in the areas of eSports and Blockchain. He advises eSports associations and clubs on all legal issues, advises and supports crypto startups in all matters from planning, preparation to execution of private and public token offerings (so-called Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs). Furthermore, Leonid Shmatenko specializes in international arbitration and has participated in several arbitration proceedings (SAC, ICC, DIS, UNCITRAL, ICSID, ad hoc) as a party representative and secretary of the tribunal. Leonid Shmatenko studied at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf and is currently pursuing a PhD in international law. After his successful first state examination (2011), he completed his legal clerkship, inter alia, at the German Embassy in Lima and within international law firms in Düsseldorf and Paris. He passed the second state examination in 2015. He is an external lecturer at the National Law University of Ukraine “Yaroslav Mudryi”, where he teaches International Investment Law. He is admitted to the Bar in Switzerland and Germany. Before joining Eversheds Sutherland, Leonid Shmatenko worked as an attorney at leading law firms in Geneva, Munich and Paris.

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ELN Announcement: Launch of Esports Legal Wiki and a Call for Papers

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ELN Announcement Launch of Esports Legal Wiki

We are thrilled to announce the official launch of the Esports Legal Wiki, a groundbreaking new resource in the field of esports law, edited by Dr Despoina Farmaki and Leonid Shmatenko. This comprehensive digital encyclopedia features over 60 detailed legal definitions and analyses authored by a distinguished panel of experts in the esports legal domain. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the following contributors for their invaluable insights and expertise:

Esports Legal News (ELN) is also excited to promote Dr. Despoina Farmaki to Chief Academic Officer. Dr. Farmaki, who has played a pivotal role in the development of the Esports Legal Wiki, will not only oversee the finalization of this extensive project but will also spearhead an exciting new academic initiative set to be unveiled in the first quarter of 2025.

We invite scholars and practitioners from around the world to contribute to the Esports Legal Wiki. Your submissions will help ensure that this platform remains a cutting-edge, authoritative source for legal professionals, scholars, and anyone interested in the legal aspects of esports.

To participate, please refer to the attached call for papers and submission guidelines. Your contributions are crucial to the success and continual growth of this essential legal resource.

Thank you to all our contributors and supporters for making this project possible. We look forward to your ongoing engagement and to revealing further innovations in the near future.

If you wish to cite the Esports Legal Wiki in your scholarly works, the suggested citation is: “Author’s name, “Term”, in: Farmaki/Shmatenko (eds.), ELN Esports Legal Wiki, Link to Wiki entry, Last updated.”

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Author

  • Leonid Shmatenko

    Leonid Shmatenko is part of Eversheds Sutherlands’ data protection and technology law team. He has vast experience in regulatory and general issues in the areas of eSports and Blockchain. He advises eSports associations and clubs on all legal issues, advises and supports crypto startups in all matters from planning, preparation to execution of private and public token offerings (so-called Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs). Furthermore, Leonid Shmatenko specializes in international arbitration and has participated in several arbitration proceedings (SAC, ICC, DIS, UNCITRAL, ICSID, ad hoc) as a party representative and secretary of the tribunal. Leonid Shmatenko studied at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf and is currently pursuing a PhD in international law. After his successful first state examination (2011), he completed his legal clerkship, inter alia, at the German Embassy in Lima and within international law firms in Düsseldorf and Paris. He passed the second state examination in 2015. He is an external lecturer at the National Law University of Ukraine “Yaroslav Mudryi”, where he teaches International Investment Law. He is admitted to the Bar in Switzerland and Germany. Before joining Eversheds Sutherland, Leonid Shmatenko worked as an attorney at leading law firms in Geneva, Munich and Paris.

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Takaze’s Take: Free the Agents – Sexism and Misogyny in the Esports Business

This new format of an article (Takaze’s Take) explains how an eathlete can file a discrimination lawsuit in the USA. This article also discusses women in sports.

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Takaze's Take: Free the Agents

On 28 February 2024, Josefine Jensen, a member of Astralis’ Women’s Counter-Strike team, took a stand. She Xed a letter to Valve Corporation, demanding a change in their business practices. Specifically, she urged them to make female agent skins free to use in Counter-Strike. This issue, she believes, is not just about Skins but about the deep-rooted sexism and misogyny that pervades the esports industry. 

The esports world has a rich history of mistreating women.[1] However, women in America do have a way to counterattack. For example, suppose the misandrist is someone you work with. In that case, you can file a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).[2] 

The EEOC enforces “federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.”[3] If you sign and file a Charge of Discrimination, you are “asserting that an employer, union or labor organization engaged in employment discrimination.”[4] You must file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC before you can sue your employer for discrimination.

Takaze’s Take

Filing a Charge of Discrimination is not your only option. In fact, as the war against Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) intensifies, the EEOC may be unable to protect you. Unfortunately, your enemies intend to compel the EEOC to enforce the status quo.[5] If DEI is important to you, then a showdown with your adversaries may be inevitable. 

Mr. Monopoly’s Wisdom

Your opponents view DEI as a zero-sum game. Fear and insecurities are at the center of the conflict.[6] We ought to celebrate your accomplishments.[7] Instead, your adversaries recognize that these fears and insecurities make their followers susceptible to viewing your success as a threat.[8] Mr. Monopoly can help you understand the schism. Until recently, your enemies owned the entire board. Their rule was ruthless and absolute. Over time, your foes’ forefathers were forced to make half-hearted concessions. Your forebears were given Mediterranean Avenue—Connecticut Avenue. Their adversaries expected them to be content. 

Those whose shoulders you stand upon continued to press the issue. You landed on Atlantic Avenue, and your sights are set on Boardwalk. The last seven to eight years in American politics should have clarified one thing for you: Your enemies consider your desire to own Boardwalk wholly unacceptable. 

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Their Strategy

Your enemies are clever.[9] They copied the tactics of Civil Rights activists.[10] Now, your opponents are erasing them from your history books.[11] Their recent legislative and judicial victories show that your adversaries are reaping the rewards of their efforts.[12] Your enemies likely believe their victory will be absolute if they can expunge the history of your forebears.

The Counter-Strike

The sports and entertainment worlds have not acquiesced to your enemies’ demands.[13] As we enter the next phase of the streaming wars, alienating marginalized groups is a surefire way to lose.[14] You can leverage the pursuit of profits to your advantage. For example, working at the FDIC was a never-ending party until the Wall Street Journal arrived.[15]The author hopes that soon, every woman will feel safe in the workplace. Perhaps your enemies feel secure because the esports world is not mainstream. The author hopes you show them that they are misreading the tea leaves.

The spotlight is shining brightly upon the women’s sports universe. The WNBA and ESPN plan to capitalize on Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese’s fame.[16] The NWSL is expanding.[17] Private equity firms are investing heavily in the sports world.[18] The NFL is arriving fashionably late to the dance, but their dance card is undoubtedly full.[19] The esports world claims to be unhappy with its dependence upon the Saudis, and the business model needs to be tweaked.[20]Investors not chosen by the major sports leagues will need a date. If DEI is important to you, now may be the time to press the issue. 

Advance your token to Boardwalk.

Image source: Netcompany

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[1] Ajay Rose, Inside the World of Female esports: “It’s a Scary Space for Women’, The Athletic (Jul. 23, 2023), https://theathletic.com/4635621/2023/07/23/inside-the-world-of-female-esports/.

[2] Filing a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOChttps://www.eeoc.gov/filing-charge-discrimination (last visited Apr. 7, 2024).  

[3] Overviewhttps://www.eeoc.gov/overview (last visited Apr. 7, 2024). 

[4] Id.

[5] Robert Draper, America First Legal, a Trump-Aligned Group, Is Spoiling for a Fight, N.Y. Times (Mar. 21, 2024), https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/21/us/politics/stephen-miller-america-first-legal.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare&ugrp=c&pvid=E1F42499-3ECC-4095-9233-0DA8057CA02A&sgrp=c-cb.

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[6] Why Young Men and Women Are Drifting Apart, The Economist (Mar. 13, 2024), https://www.economist.com/international/2024/03/13/why-the-growing-gulf-between-young-men-and-womenMaking Sense of the Gulf Between Young Men and Women, The Economist (Mar. 14, 2024), https://www.economist.com/leaders/2024/03/14/making-sense-of-the-gulf-between-young-men-and-women.

[7] Aparna Rae, White Men’s Role in Advancing Equity and Inclusion, Forbes (Mar. 14, 2024), https://www.forbes.com/sites/aparnarae/2024/03/14/white-mens-role-in-advancing-equity-and-inclusion/?sh=6f4d22b85b5f.

[8] Nicquel Terry Ellis & Catherine Thorbecke, DEI Efforts are Under Siege. Here’s What Experts Say is at Stake, CNN (Jan. 11, 2024), https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/07/us/dei-attacks-experts-warn-of-consequences-reaj/index.html.

[9] Nicholas Confessore, ‘America is Under Attack’: Inside the Anti-D.E.I. Crusade, N.Y. Times (Jan. 20, 2024), https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2024/01/20/us/dei-woke-claremont-institute.html; Meg Little Reilly, Anti-DEI Bills Rely on Vague Language and Self-Censorship, Forbes (Mar. 5, 2024), https://www.forbes.com/sites/meglittlereilly/2024/03/05/anti-dei-bills-rely-on-vague-language-and-self-censorship/?sh=75b5535b1742.

[10] James Devitt, Bayard Rustin’s Blueprint for Activism—and Perhaps Progresshttps://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2023/august/bayard-rustin-s-blueprint-for-activism-and-perhaps-progress.html (last visited Apr. 7, 2024); Adam Gopnik, Eclipsed in His Era, Bayard Rustin Gets to Shine in Ours, The New Yorker (Nov. 6, 2023), https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2023/11/13/eclipsed-in-his-era-bayard-rustin-gets-to-shine-in-ours.

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[11] Taifa Natalee Alexander, Tracking the Attack on Critical Race Theory in Education, U.S. News (Apr. 11, 2023), https://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2023-04-11/tracking-the-attack-on-critical-race-theory-in-education;  Daniel Golden, Muzzled by DeSantis, Critical Race Theory Professors Cancel Courses or Modify Their Teaching, ProPublica (Jan. 3, 2023), https://www.propublica.org/article/desantis-critical-race-theory-florida-college-professors; Myles Hollingsworth, AP African American Studies and Critical Race Theory Ban in Florida, The Crisis (July 24, 2023), https://naacp.org/articles/ap-african-american-studies-and-critical-race-theory-ban-florida;  David Bernstein, Is Opposition to Critical Race Theory Correlated With Ignorance of Critical Race Theory?, Reason (Apr. 2, 2024), https://apple.news/AQmeDx-k2Te6xfEP5a69ndg.

[12] Jeff Green & Simone Foxman, Why Corporate America Has a Diversity Problem, Bloomberg (Mar. 14, 2024), https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-03-14/video-why-corporate-america-has-a-diversity-problem.

[13] Bill King, The Pushback on DEI, Sports Business Journal (Mar. 11, 2024), https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Articles/2024/03/11/dei-pushback; Jeremy W. Peters & Brooks Barnes, The Oscars Now Have D.E.I. Rules, But Some Say It’s Just a Performance, N.Y. Times (Mar. 10, 2024), https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/08/us/oscars-oppenheimer-dei-diversity.html.

[14] Dr. Darnell Hunt & Dr. Ana-Christina Ramon, Diverse Audiences Prop Up A Struggling Theatrical Industry and Demand Diversity on Screen, Forbes (Mar. 7, 2024), https://www.forbes.com/sites/drdarnellhuntanddranachristinaramon/2024/03/07/diverse-audiences-prop-up-a-struggling-theatrical-industry-and-demand-diversity-on-screen/?sh=3ff2cb78742d.

[15] Rebecca Ballhaus, ‘What the Hell is Going on at the FDIC?’, The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 10, 2024), https://www.wsj.com/articles/fdic-6d9e8bf1.

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[16] Jacob Feldman, WNBA Has Big Plans to Ride Women’s Basketball Momentum, Sportico (Apr. 4, 2024), https://www.sportico.com/leagues/basketball/2024/caitlin-clark-wnba-momentum-popularity-draft-marketing-1234773879/; Tom Friend, Engelbert: Clark-Reese Could be the New Bird-Magic, Sports Business Journal (Mar. 3, 2024), https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Articles/2024/03/03/wnba-cathy-engelbert-caitlin-clark-angel-reese.

[17] Cleveland Soccer Group Announces 12k Season-Ticket Pledges for Possible NWSL Expansion Franchise, Sports Business Journal (Apr. 4, 2024), https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Articles/2024/04/04/cleveland-ohio-nwsl-expansion-team-bid?hl=NWSL&sc=0&publicationSource=searchNWSL Enters 2024 Campaign with Renewed Hope Amid Offseason Growth, Sports Business Journal (Mar. 15, 2024), https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Articles/2024/03/15/nwsl-2024-season-preview?hl=NWSL&sc=0&publicationSource=search.

[18] Arctos Partners Raises $4.1B for Investments in Sports, Sports Business Journal (Apr. 2, 2024), https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Articles/2024/04/02/arctos-partners-deals?hl=private+equity&sc=0&publicationSource=search; Abby Schultz, The Wealthy are Turning to Sports for Diversification, Barron’s (Jan. 2, 2024), https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-wealthy-are-turning-to-sports-for-diversification-9726aaac.

[19] Ben Fischer, Explaining the Caution on Private Equity, Sports Business Journal (Mar. 28, 2024),https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Articles/2024/03/28/explaining-nfl-private-equity-caution?hl=private+equity&sc=0&publicationSource=search.  

[20] Asli Pelit, In Fading Esports Business, Saudi Money Still Flows, Sportico (Mar. 15, 2024), https://www.sportico.com/business/sponsorship/2024/esports-investment-saudi-arabia-1234770868/.

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  • Takaze Turner

    Takaze A. Turner, a distinguished figure at the intersection of entertainment and law, showcases a profound passion for anime, cinema, and gaming. His academic journey commenced at the Ohio State University, where he excelled in English, earning his degree with cum laude honors. Furthering his legal education, Takaze achieved his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law, before embarking on specialized legal studies. He has since attained an LL.M. in Business Law from Florida State University College of Law and an LL.M. in Entertainment Law from the University of Miami School of Law. Currently, he is enhancing his expertise by pursuing an LL.M. in Taxation Law at the same institution. Takaze’s multifaceted legal education, coupled with his deep-rooted interests in entertainment, positions him uniquely within the legal landscape. His academic accomplishments reflect a dedicated pursuit of knowledge across various sectors of law, particularly those intersecting with the business and entertainment industries. At the core of his professional journey is a commitment to understanding and navigating the complex legalities surrounding entertainment and media, ensuring he remains a pivotal figure in legal discussions related to these dynamic fields. His ongoing pursuit of an LL.M. in Taxation Law further exemplifies his dedication to broadening his legal acumen, underscoring his role as a key contributor to the legal community, especially in areas where law meets entertainment and technology.

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