Sports, Media & Entertainment
Since our earliest days, Tonkon Torp’s client roster has included leaders in the sport, media and entertainment fields. We represent household names in the sporting sector and luminaries in the entertainment area, including arenas, teams and agents. Our media clients include television, radio and publishing companies, and we’re particularly skilled at the constitutional issues these clients face.

Clients in this sector trade on intangibles in many cases, and we are able to identify the risks and challenges that intangible assets hold, helping protect their brand, reputation and bottom line.  Similarly, copyright and trademark protection is of paramount importance to our sports, media and entertainment clients.

Our services in the sports, media and entertainment industries include:
  • Event and team sponsorship and athlete endorsement agreements
  • General business counsel
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Corporate finance and governance
  • Libel and slander litigation
  • First Amendment litigation
  • Intellectual property protection and licensing agreements
  • Immigration issues for performers, athletes and employees
  • Executive compensation and employee benefits
  • Labor and employment matters
  • Real estate, land use and environmental issues
  • Tax and wealth planning

Sale of Eagle Newspapers Publications to Pamplin Media Group

Represented Eagle Newspapers in the sale of six of its weekly newspapers to Pamplin Media Group. The newspapers involved were the Woodburn Independent, Canby Herald, Newberg Graphic, Wilsonville Spokesman, Molalla Pioneer and Madras Pioneer. Eagle Newspapers is owned by former U.S. congressman Denny Smith. Pamplin Media Group is owned by businessman and philanthropist Dr. Robert Pamplin Jr.

Miller v. KOIN-TV

(Marion County Circuit Court) – Successfully defended KOIN-TV against claims that political advertising aired by the station was false and misleading.

In re Western Communications, Inc.

(Bankr. D. Or.) – Western Communications, Inc. owns eight newspapers, including the Bend Bulletin, La Grande Observer, Baker City Herald, Redwood Spokesman, Curry Coastal Pilot, Central Oregon Nickel Ads, Daily Triplicate, and Sonora Union Democrat. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case, through which the company restructured its debts and emerged within nine months.

ADA Claim

Obtained a directed verdict at the close of a trial defending an ADA claim on behalf of employer/client. 

Ivey Performance Marketing v. Preston

(Oregon state court) - Successfully pursued trade secret misappropriation and breach of non-solicitation /non-disclosure claims. Obtained stipulated injunction after significant discovery just prior to the preliminary injunction hearing.

Laika v. Honestech

(USDC, D. Or.) - Represented LAIKA in a trademark infringement claim against a company that was using the client’s registered Claymation® brand.

Entercom v. Alpha Broadcasting

(USDC, D. Or.) - Defended trademark infringement and trade secret claim brought by competitor. The case ultimately settled.

In re The Columbian Publishing Company

(Bankr. W.D. Wa.) - Nine months after Tonkon filed the Columbian Publishing Company's Chapter 11 case, Southwest Washington’s largest daily newspaper emerged from bankruptcy in early 2010 thanks to the work of Al Kennedy and Mike Fletcher.

Nike Stock Sale

Represented Nike, Inc. in connection with the sale of the stock of its United Soccer Leagues subsidiary to NuRock Soccer Holdings.

Nike Sale to Kohlberg & Co.

Represented Nike, Inc. in connection with the sale of NIKE Bauer Hockey, Inc. to Kohlberg & Co. for $200 million.

Nike Sale to Iconix Brand Group

Represented Nike, Inc. in connection with the sale of Official Starter brand assets to Iconix Brand Group for $60 million.

In re Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company

(Bankr. D. Or.) - Graphic Arts Publishing published books, calendars and other printed material on the subject area of regional history, gardening, photo essay, nature, travel, cooking and children's books under four names: Graphic Arts Books, Westwind Press, Alaska Northwest Books and Alaska Geographic. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case that resulted in confirmation of a Plan of Reorganization and recapitalization of the company within nine months of the petition date.  

Nike Acquisition of Starter

Represented Nike, Inc. in connection with the acquisition of Starter for $43 million.

Nike Acquisition of Converse, Inc.

Represented Nike, Inc. in connection with the acquisition of Converse, Inc. stock for $305 million.

Nike Acquisition of Hurley

Represented Nike, Inc. in connection with the acquisition of Hurley.

Representative Matters

Sale of Eagle Newspapers Publications to Pamplin Media Group

Represented Eagle Newspapers in the sale of six of its weekly newspapers to Pamplin Media Group. The newspapers involved were the Woodburn Independent, Canby Herald, Newberg Graphic, Wilsonville Spokesman, Molalla Pioneer and Madras Pioneer. Eagle Newspapers is owned by former U.S. congressman Denny Smith. Pamplin Media Group is owned by businessman and philanthropist Dr. Robert Pamplin Jr.