On MyShingle, we celebrate the solo and small firm practitioner, and those at the forefront of innovation in the legal field. Our newest project, 41 Legal Practice Areas That Didn’t Exist 15 Years Ago highlights solo and small firm practitioners who have embraced unconventional and upcoming niche practices from Craft Alcohol Law to Drone Law.
This profile is of Aaron Wiener, an attorney at the Gordon Law Group.
Wiener’s interview hones in on his involvement with eSports. eSports encompass the world of competitive video game playing. These players compete, generally for a cash prize, in monthly and yearly leagues, based on some of the world’s most popular online multiplayer games. As video game playing has become part of the mainstream culture, eSports have developed into a billion dollar industry. Wiener focuses on building designated eSports businesses, using his knowledge of intellectual property law.
Q: What is your name, your law firm’s name and location and website?
A: Aaron Wiener
Gordon Law Group, Ltd.
Q: At what point in your career did you begin to focus on eSports Law, and what was the motivation for choosing eSports Law?
A: I had a focus in eSports early on and had the privilege of helping a longtime client scale their business from some casual basement gaming to managing multiple dedicated gaming houses. Esports law allowed me to combine my passions for technology and video games with my background in general corporate representation and intellectual property law.
Q: Tell us a little about your work in eSports Law. What types of clients do you represent and what are some of the legal issues you encounter?
A: The eSports clients I work with are all over the map, ranging from new players kicking off their careers and signing to their first team, to established organizations competing in some of the top leagues.
Q: What do you enjoy most about eSports Law?
A: As an old-school gamer myself, it has been amazing watching eSports evolve from informal contests hosted at Internet cafes into a massively popular, worldwide industry rapidly approaching the popularity of traditional professional sports (e.g., NFL, NHL, MLB, etc.).
Q: How did you market your practice and gain a reputation in eSports Law?
A: A lot of our firm’s eSports practice has grown organically through word of mouth. Client satisfaction is everything – when your clients are successful, referrals come naturally. In addition, I try to attend various conferences and industry events. Gordon Law Group had a great time checking out the Call of Duty World Leagues.
Q: As you know, this practice area really did not exist 15 years ago? How do you address or advise clients on novel or emerging issues for which there is no precedent?
A: A massively important issue for organizations to be cognizant of is how they craft their intellectual property protection strategies, both on the organization level and with respect to their players. It’s no longer enough to simply be skilled at a game, as eSports players are now expected to be savvy at engaging fans via social media and streaming platforms, as well as representing the org at in-person events like photo shoots and interviews. Organizations need to carefully craft their player contracts to address their goals with respect to building the brand, merchandising, and sponsorship strategies.
Q: Tell us about one of your most interesting or challenging cases.
A: Recently, I helped a client eSports organization navigate a complex acquisition by an owner of a Major League Baseball team. It is fascinating to see how big names within the world of traditional professional sports (i.e., NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) are increasingly getting involved in the eSports space.
Q: What advice do you have for other attorneys interested in eSports Law?
A: A tax and intellectual property background are most helpful in navigating the wide array of different issues commonly presented in most eSports deals.
The Law Uninvented Profile Series is co-written and edited by MyShingle’s new Content Coordinator, Rachel Wallen.