By Shana Avery, 2L, CSLP Fellow
On Thursday, June 19, 2014, nine Thomas Jefferson School of Law Center for Sports Law and Policy (CSLP) Fellows visited the Callaway Golf facility in Carlsbad, California. Once inside the beautiful building, Fellows Charles “Oli” Barwald, Shana Avery, Rachel Travis, Rachel Baum, Alfredo Bustamante, Bradley Walker, Andrea Simmons, Jordan Mlynarczyk, and Josh Desmond were greeted by Callaway’s friendly staff.
Callaway is a household name in golf that designs, markets, manufactures, and sells golf clubs and golf accessories worldwide. Callaway’s name came from former President and CEO Ely Callaway Jr. and sponsors PGA pro Phil Mickelson and LPGA pro Momoko Ueda, among others.
First, the Fellows were invited to a discussion and lunch with Callaway's Associate General Counsel Marty Hochman and Vice President of Global Sports Marketing, Nick Raffaele. Mr. Hochman greeted each fellow and provided an impressive PowerPoint presentation about what it means to work in the sports industry and being in-house counsel. In addition, he explained the nexus between law and business. Mr. Hochman added that, “you cannot be over critical, but you can over lawyer.” Mr. Hochman was referring to making sure the company is covered and protected. Mr. Hochman spoke as not only an Attorney in the sports industry, but as a business person working in a constantly changing industry with problems that arise such as the complexities of sweepstakes law, copyright, consumer protection, and social media.
Mr. Raffaele, a straight shooter from Texas, provided the Fellows with advice and direction that he uses during negotiations with athletes and agents on endorsement deals. Mr. Raffaele said, “know your walking point before you get to the negotiation and to have a walking point,” advice relevant not only in business, but in life as well. He illustrated examples of situations where negotiations have ended because of Callaway’s walking point that has benefitted the Company tremendously. It was an engaging and entertaining discussion with the Fellows and Callaway.
Edward Montano, one of Callaway's first employees and Pro Shop Manager, then took the Fellows on a tour of the pro shop where employees worked on the specifications requested by the Callaway Pros. Mr. Montano explained how detailed the customizations can be and even provided an example of how he had to work to get a pro the golf clubs they needed even after the rest of his employees had gone home.
Next on the tour was a visit to Callaway Performance Center where guests are fitted for clubs. CSLP Director Jeremy Evans ’11 and CSLP Fellow and Sports Law Society President Jordan Mlynarczyk took impressive swings in the “cage.” Those who get fitted are provided feedback on what the data received on the screen indicates about their swing. The young professional, Kelly, discussed everything from ball speed to the angle the ball using Callaway's advanced technology. This service is open to the public and cost about $150.00.
Overall, it was a great practical experience for the Fellows with the Center for Sports Law & Policy at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.