Charles H. Baker

Partner

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Charles Baker is Co-Chair of O’Melveny’s Sports Industry Group. Chuck’s corporate practice encompasses mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and venture capital transactions, with a core focus in the sports, media and consumer sectors.

Chuck has represented buyers and sellers of sports franchises in the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and many of the European football leagues. Most recently, Chuck represented David Tepper, founder and president of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management, in his acquisition of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

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Corporate & Government Experience

  • Staff Intern, former Senator Bill Bradley

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized as one of The American Lawyer’s “Dealmakers of the Year” (2019)
  • Corporate Honoree, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, New York Chapter, Inaugural Crimson Ball (2018)
  • Recognized as a “Dealmaker” in Variety’s Dealmakers Elite: New York (2017-2018)
  • Recognized nationally for sports law by Chambers USA (2012-2019)
  • Named to New York Super Lawyers® list for work in sports & entertainment law (2017)
  • Included in Sports Business Journal’s “Power Players: Sports Lawyers & Outside Counsel” list (2016)
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 for work in M&A and sports law (2015-2019)
  • Awarded “USA Deal of the Year,” by Global M&A Network, M&A Atlas Awards (2015)

Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • New York

Education

  • Cornell University, J.D.

Professional Activities

Memberships

  • Law360, Sports Editorial Advisory Board
  • Block Six Analytics, Advisory Board
  • Sports Innovation Lab, Advisory Board
  • SportsCastr.Live, Advisory Board
  • University of Miami School of Law, Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Board
  • American Bar Association, Business Law and Sports Law Committees, Financial Advisor Task Force
  • Sports Lawyers Association
  • Former, Law360, Media and Entertainment Editorial Board

Civic and Charitable

  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Executive Officer and Director
  • March of Dimes, Board of Trustees, Sports Luncheon Committee
  • United Nations Foundation for Gender Equality, Board Member
  • Honorary Committee for Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), Member
  • Ivy Sports Symposium, Board of Directors
  • USA Triathlon, Independent Director, Board of Directors (previous)

Faculty

  • University of Miami School of Law, Visiting Professor

Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “How are Investors Shaping Sport. What is driving investors’ appetite for sports, where is the money going and how is the power and influence of active investors changing the sports landscape?,” Sports Decision Makers Summit (May 7, 2019)
  • Panelist, “The Role of Global Business as a Catalyst for Sport Integrity,” SIGA Sport Integrity Forum (March 26, 2019)
  • Panelist, “Growth and Future of eSports,” Fordham Sports Law Symposium (February 22, 2019)
  • Speaker, “Negotiation and Dispute Resolution in Sports SPRT PS5105,” University of Columbia: Sports Management Program (January 17, 2019)
  • Speaker, “Disruption and Growth - The Future of Esports,” Cornell ILR Sports Leadership Summit (November 15, 2018)
  • Speaker, “M&A in Sports: Inside the Carolina Panthers Acquisition,” Wharton Sports Business Summit (November 9, 2018)
  • Speaker, “Sports Team Valuations,” University of Michigan (November 2, 2018)
  • Speaker, “The Role of Lawyers in Professional Sports Franchise Acquisitions,” Harvard Law School (October 11, 2018)
  • Keynote Speaker, “Investing in Sports,” SportBusiness Summit 2018 (September 18, 2018)
  • Guest Lecturer, “The Business of Sports - Mergers & Acquisitions in Professional Sport,” UCLA Anderson School of Management (September 6, 2018)
  • Keynote Speaker, “Investing in Sports,” Opal Financial Group’s 12th Annual Family Office & Private Wealth Management Forum (July 17, 2018)
  • Moderator, “Innovations in Stadium Development,” Miami University of Law Global Entertainment & Sport Conference (April 5, 2018)
  • Moderator, “Investing in Sports and esports: Engaging Today’s Fan,” with Marc Lasry, Dave Checketts, and Jared Bartie, NYSSCPA Family Office Committee (March 14, 2018)
  • Speaker, “Investing in Professional Sports Teams,” Investment Conference Lunch, RBC Wealth Management (September 27, 2017)
  • Panelist, “Team & Venue Acquisitions and Financings," Sports Lawyers Association Conference (May 19, 2017)
  • Panelist, “Sports & Entertainment Law in Practice,” Harvard Committee on Sports & Entertainment Law (April 13, 2017)
  • Panelist, “Inside the Deal: Trends in Financing Sports Properties,” NYU Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business - 16th Annual Cal Ramsey Distinguished Lecturer Series in Sports Management (March 29, 2017)
  • Lead Panelist, “Mergers & Acquisitions and Financing: Professional Sports Teams and Venue Transactions,” Sports Lawyers Association Conference (May 13, 2016)
  • Distinguished Lecturer, NYU Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business( May 2016)
  • Panelist, NYU Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business, “Public Policy: When Do Sports Leagues, Teams, and Organizations Get Involved,” Social Responsibility Conference (March 14, 2016)
  • Panelist, “Living the Dream: Buying, Selling and Evaluating Sports Franchises,” 3rd Annual Cardozo Sports Law Symposium, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (March 13, 2015)
  • Panelist, “Sports Business Today: Leadership in the Global Economy,” 9th Annual Ivy Sports Symposium, Princeton Hyatt Regency (November 14, 2014)
  • Speaker, “Sports M&A: Deal Drivers and Breaking into the Business,” Cornell University (October 31, 2014)
  • Moderator, “Going Global: International Expansion,” Ivy Sports Symposium, Harvard Law School (November 22, 2013)
  • Speaker, “Sports M&A,” Bloomberg Dealmakers Summit, New York (October 25, 2012)

Sports Matters

  • David Tepper, founder and president of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management, in his US$2.275 billion acquisition of the NFL Carolina Panthers, the largest transaction for an NFL team to date
  • Investors including Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer in David Bonderman and Oak View Group's acquisition of NHL Seattle expansion franchise
  • Investor group in the acquisition of a minority interest in MLS Seattle Sounders FC
  • Future Beat, LLC, a provider of VIP experiences for concerts and other events, in its sale to On Location Events, LLC, the official hospitality partner of the NFL
  • SportsCastr, a live-streaming platform that allows anyone to become a color commentator, in connection with the sale of a minority stake in the company to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and the company’s becoming an official licensee of the NFLPA
  • American Flag Football League (AFFL) in connection with a broadcasting partnership with the NFL Network — the first-ever broadcast deal for professional flag football
  • ReKTGlobal, Inc., an esports company, in the acquisition of Rogue, a Steve Aoki-backed, Las Vegas-based esports team, and a European Riot Games League of Legends franchise
  • Investor in connection with a controlling interest in the Brooklyn Nets NBA franchise
  • Prospect Sports Partners in connection with the development of a youth soccer academy in Kings Park, NY and mixed use development with Barcelona Football Club
  • Leading online youth sports media company STACK Media, Inc. on its sale to Genstar-backed Blue Star Sports
  • Phoenix Rising Football Club on various aspects of a potential MLS expansion team
  • Blue Pool Capital, the family office of Alibaba executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai, in the acquisition of the San Diego Seals, a National Lacrosse League expansion team
  • Private equity investors in connection with controlling acquisition of LAFC
  • Owners of Atlanta Hawks in auctioned sale of NBA team and operating rights to Philips Arena
  • Atlanta Falcons owner, Arthur M. Blank, in the acquisition of the Atlanta United Football Club
  • Checketts Partners Investment Fund in formation and investments in ScoreBig, Gravity Media, Veritone, and Legends Hospitality
  • Rob Dyrdek and Street League Skateboarding in Series A financing by Causeway Media Partners, a private equity firm focused on sports and media investments
  • Abu Dhabi United Group and Manchester City F.C. in acquisition, with the New York Yankees, of New York City Football Club, MLS’s 20th expansion club
  • Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship racing series in equity raise
  • Investors in the purchase of a minority interest in the Oakland Raiders
  • Private equity firm in the refinancing of the Ottawa Senators
  • Chang USA in sale of DC Soccer to Black Eagle Investment Group; MacFarlane-Chang in acquisition of DC United from AEG
  • Investor groups in the potential acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Memphis Grizzlies, New York Mets, and D.C. United
  • A.S. Roma Football Club and Raptor Sports Group in majority equity capital raise
  • Manchester City F.C. in a kit sponsorship deal with Nike Inc.
  • Private equity investor in the proposed purchase by Matthew Hulsizer of the St. Louis Blues
  • Atlanta Spirit Group in the sale of the Atlanta Thrashers to True North Sports and relocation to Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Private equity investor in the purchase by Ted Leonsis of Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards
  • Stephen Ross in the purchase of the Miami Dolphins football franchise and Dolphin Stadium
  • Kurt Salmon Associates as financial advisor in Ashworth's merger with TaylorMade-Adidas Golf
  • Fila Korea in its acquisition of the global footwear and apparel business from Cerberus Capital
  • Highbridge Principal Strategies in investment in Wasserman Media Group
  • Investors in the purchase of the Philadelphia 76ers from Comcast-Spectacor
  • Ethos II LLC in acquisition of Boston Triathlon and Maine Lobsterman Triathlon

Non-Sports Matters

  • Union Square Hospitality Group in connection with Food and Beverage Operating Agreement with King & Grove hotel chain
  • Wednesday Agency Group, a digital advertising agency, in its sale to BBDO, a subsidiary of the Omnicom Group
  • Fosun in connection with its minority investment in St. John Knits
  • Frame Denim in its sale to private equity investors
  • FTI Consulting, Inc. in its acquisition of The Salter Group, LLC, a leading entertainment and media advisory firm
  • Fashion Networks International, a leading fashion blog portal, in its sale to Fairchild Fashion Media, a division of Condé Nast
  • Dubai World in its minority investment in MGM Mirage and joint venture in the Las Vegas CityCenter development project
  • LionTree Advisors LLC, as financial advisor and fairness opinion provider, in connection with Charter Communications' $78.7 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications' $10.4 billion acquisition of Bright House Networks
  • JPMorgan Securities, as financial advisor and fairness opinion provider, in connection with the following: 
    • News Corporation's acquisition of Dow Jones & Company
    • Mars, Inc., and Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.'s acquisition of Wm. Wrigley Jr.
    • Landmark Communications' sale of The Weather Channel to NBC, Bain and Blackstone
    • MoneyGram's recapitalization with T.H. Lee Partners and Goldman Sachs
    • United Industrial Corporation's sale to Textron, Inc.
  • UBS Securities, as financial advisor and fairness opinion provider, in connection with the acquisition by The Princeton Review of Penn Foster Education Group from The Wicks Group of Companies
  • Duff & Phelps, as financial advisor, in connection with US$4.4 billion spinoff by Verizon Communications of landline businesses to Frontier Communications
  • Bear Stearns as financial advisor in connection with proposed sale of Steve Madden Company to Nautica
  • Bear Stearns as financial advisor and fairness opinion provider in a hostile takeover by Jones Apparel of Maxwell Shoe Company
  • Jennifer Lopez in proposed dispositions of Sweetface Fashion Company, LLC to Tommy Hilfiger Inc. and The Yucaipa Companies
  • Onward Kashiyama in purchase of minority interest and license agreement with Michael Kors

In the News

Law360: NBA Eager To Increase Team Liquidity Amid Rising Values

October 18, 2019

Bloomberg: Even Billionaires Aren’t Rich Enough to Buy NFL Teams Nowadays

September 5, 2019

SportBusiness: How Football Clubs Can Cash in on the Game’s Changing Investment Landscape

July 8, 2019

Sports Business Journal: “On My Mind” with O’Melveny’s Chuck Baker

June 26, 2019

SportBusiness: US Leagues ‘Need to Loosen Debt Restrictions’ to Help Potential Purchasers

May 7, 2019

The American Lawyer: The American Lawyer's 2019 Dealmakers of the Year

March 25, 2019

Law360: Sports Group of the Year: O’Melveny

February 21, 2019

Middle Market Growth: Making Sports History Off the Field

February 11, 2019

Middle Market Growth: Sports Investors’ New Playbook

January 14, 2019

Global Legal Chronicle: NHL’s Expansion to Seattle

December 31, 2018

The Deal: Investor Group Nabs Seattle NHL Expansion Team

December 5, 2018

Bloomberg News: Billion-Dollar Sports Transactions: The Who and Why

November 21, 2018

The Seattle Times: In Probable Event Seahawks and Trail Blazers are Sold, Relocation is Highly Unlikely

October 17, 2018

Bloomberg News: Billionaires May Get ‘Highly Unusual’ Shot at Paul Allen's Teams

October 16, 2018

Variety: Eastern Players Shape Showbiz

September 25, 2018

SportsBusiness Journal: Keys to Sports Law Success

August 13, 2018

Baker Analyzes Sports Industry’s Allure for Major Investors

July 23, 2018

Global Banking & Finance Review: O’Melveny Advises New Organization Dedicated to Extending Nelson Mandela’s Legacy around the World

July 20, 2018

Multiple News Outlets Cover O’Melveny’s Role in Largest Team Purchase in NFL History

May 17, 2018

O’Melveny Lawyers Discuss US Supreme Court Ruling on Sports Betting with Media Outlets

May 16, 2018

Courthouse News Service: Supreme Court Sides with NJ on Legalized Sports Gambling

May 14, 2018

AmLaw Features Baker, Raij Among Biggest Lateral Moves of 2017

January 29, 2018

Baker Weighs in on New York Liberty Sale in The Deal

November 15, 2017

Press Releases

Baker and Raij Named Among The American Lawyer’s 2019 “Dealmakers of the Year”

March 25, 2019

As NHL Expands to Seattle, O’Melveny Acts for Key Investors

December 4, 2018

Baker to Discuss the Future of Esports at Cornell’s 2018 ILR Sports Leadership Summit

November 14, 2018

Baker to Offer an Insider’s Perspective on Panthers Deal at Wharton Sports Business Summit

November 8, 2018

O’Melveny Advises Future Beat on Sale to On Location Events

October 10, 2018

Variety Once Again Names O’Melveny’s Baker, Bartie, and Raij to its ‘Dealmakers Elite New York’ List

September 28, 2018

O’Melveny Represents Live Streaming Platform SportsCastr in Sale of Minority Stake to NFL Players Association

July 31, 2018

O’Melveny Advises New Organization Dedicated to Extending Nelson Mandela’s Legacy around the World

July 18, 2018

O’Melveny Represents Investor David Tepper in Acquisition of NFL’s Carolina Panthers

July 9, 2018

O’Melveny Partners School Miami Law Students in Real-World Sports Team M&A Tactics

April 19, 2018

Baker to Be Honored at Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Crimson Ball

March 19, 2018

Events

Alerts and Publications