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Name And Title: Jeff Gewirtz, senior vice president and general counsel Age: 38 Traveling: Fan adulation of the athletes competing on basketball court is to Nets Basketball and Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, subsidiaries of East Rutherford, N.J.-based Nets Sports and Entertainment LLC, what oil is ExxonMobil � a raw material to be shaped into many profitable products. There are two aspects to the business of running the New Jersey Nets basketball team. “There is the basketball operation with the roster of 14 or so players, and everything other than what happens on the court,” Gewirtz said. “Everything from sponsorship to ticket sales, to radio, television, general marketing and promotional efforts, intellectual property.” Real estate developer Bruce Ratner and other investors purchased the team in 2004 with the intention of moving it from its home court at Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey to his proposed Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, N.Y. Architect Frank Gehry is designing the $4 billion redevelopment of fallowed rail yards and industrial land into 17 towers of residential, retail and office space. At the heart of it will be the Barclay Center, a vast sports and entertainment complex where the rechristened Brooklyn Nets are scheduled to begin playing their home games beginning with the 2009 season. “It will be one of the most special sports and entertainment venues ever built,” Gewirtz said. “The Nets organization will monetize the new building through selling sports marketing assets. We are involved with suite sales, because with sports arenas, selling luxury suites is critical.” The Nets’ soon-to-be former landlord, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, has retained the company to help rename Continental Airlines Arena � “to structure the right package for the naming rights and finding companies interested in the naming rights opportunity,” he said. “It is a new endeavor for us.” Route To Present Position: “I am not a huge sports fan,” Gewirtz confessed. “I was always fascinated, from an early age, by the business side of sports. Even in college, I was always curious how tennis players were able to obtain streams of income outside of their prize money through endorsement deals for equipment or apparel or patch deals on their shirts.” Gewirtz graduated from Tufts University in 1991 and went directly to the Brooklyn Law School on a three-year merit scholarship. In February 1995, he became an associate at Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller in New York, one of the few firms then with a sports practice. Gewirtz moved to the WTA Tour Inc., the association of professional woman tennis players, then to the Ladies Professional Golf Association and the International Olympic Committee. In 2002, he moved to The Coca-Cola Co. as counsel for sports and entertainment transactions, marketing and media. He left Coca-Cola in August 2006 for a stint as general counsel of the U.S. Olympic Committee before joining the Nets in May. Legal Team And Outside Counsel: “At this juncture, I am the legal department for the Nets,” Gewirtz said. In addition to Chief Executive Officer Brett Yormark, he reports to David Berliner, executive vice president and general counsel for Forest City Ratner Cos., and works with Laurie Golub, an associate general counsel at Forest City Ratner who handled the team’s legal work before he arrived. Washington-based Arent Fox assists with sports marketing transactions and general sports matters. Gewirtz calls in Farrell Fritz of Uniondale, N.Y., for employment matters, and Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel and Wilkie Farr & Gallagher, both of New York, for litigation. Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett of New York handles general corporate and corporate finance matters. New York’s Weil, Gotshal & Manges helps with intellectual property issues, as does the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) intellectual property legal group. Daily Duties: “I do get involved with drafting player and coach contracts, or on occasions advising on provisions of the NBA operations manual, but the great majority of my work is on the business side of the team,” Gewirtz said. “It is niche-related business, which is our current sponsorship activities and, just as importantly, a variety of issues related to our proposed transfer to Brooklyn for the 2009-10 season.” Much of his day is spent on matters for Yormark. They are in the early stages of selling sponsorship and media alliances, such as “founding partner” sponsorships, for the new arena. “Obviously, we have issues unique to the sports and entertainment business as well, but at the end of the day it is still practicing law, limiting liability for your client and helping your client make money. Our client just happens to be in the business of sports.” Personal: Much of Gerwitz’s free time is divided between his passion for tennis, which he played competitively in college, and teaching a sports law course at Brooklyn and New York law schools. ” ‘Sports law’ is a complete misnomer, but it’s a great class whether you have an interest in sports or not,” he said. “ There is no such thing as sports law, just legal issues that happen to have some applications to sports.” Last Book And Movie: Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life, by tennis player James Blake, and 2 Days in Paris.

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