By Clinton M. Minus, Sports Law Fellow
On August 12, 2015, the Center for Sports Law and Policy (Center) at Thomas Jefferson School of Law made its annual trek to the Callaway Golf Company headquarters in Carlsbad, California. Assistant General Counsel Marty Hochman at Callaway Golf warmly greeted the Sports Law Fellows, Thomas Jefferson General Counsel Karin Sherr, and Center Director Jeremy Evans ‘11 upon entry to Callaway's palatial lobby.
Attendees were ushered into a conference room to meet with key figures in Callaway’s Legal Department, including Virginia Berman, Contracts & IP Specialist at Callaway Golf. Each person explained their position at the company and gave a brief description of their experience before working in their current role. Hochman spoke to the group about the scope of Callaway’s business and its intersection with the legal department. In addition, he explained that in his time with Callaway he has worked on legal issues that may have never presented themselves in a traditional law firm or corporate setting.
Following this discussion, the Sports Law Fellows were given a fact pattern for a mock contract negotiation. The negotiation involved a golf company, a young golfer prospect, and the golfer’s family. This activity allowed the Fellows to work through issues that are often presented during contract negotiations. The mock negotiation was informative, fun, and extremely entertaining as the Fellows, Evans, and Sherr were placed on negotiation teams against each other. When the negotiation ended, Hochman gave constructive feedback to help the Fellows negotiate more effectively.
The Fellows were then given a tour of the Callaway Golf headquarters, which included the marketing department, Callaway’s Podcast and live Television studio, the Custom Fitting area where a Callaway employee analyzes your golf swing (through state of the art technology) to determine the type of club(s) that is optimal to your golfing needs. A couple of the attendees were allowed to take some practice swings with the equipment!
The tour ended with a delicious lunch and Q&A session in the conference room. During lunch, Hochman and his team answered legal and business related questions. The event culminated with each attendee receiving a Callaway Golf gift bag. Callaway Golf Co. and the Thomas Jefferson Center for Sports Law & Policy created an event that provided a great atmosphere to practically learn and apply legal skills.
For more information on the Center for Sports Law & Policy at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, please visit the Center website: www.tjsl.edu/cslp.