Zak D. Welsh
While Zak has extensive experience in a wide variety of transactional areas, his practice focuses on a number of key industries and competencies: Sports, Entertainment, Media & Technology, Real Estate, Corporate, and Hospitality, each as further described below.
Sports, Entertainment, and Media & Technology
Zak has represented professional sports franchises, owners and operators of professional sports and entertainment venues, and corporate sponsors in connection with a broad array of transactions in the sports and entertainment industries, including:
- Naming rights agreements
- Sponsorship agreements
- Advertising and promotional agreements
- Suite, club, and premium hospitality leases and licenses
- Media rights and advertising agreements
- Multi-media rights (MMR) agreements
- Facility management agreements
- Facility leases and licenses
- Event leases and licenses
- Concessionaire and food and beverage agreements
- Pouring rights agreements
- Franchise acquisition and disposition agreements
- League formation and related agreements
Recent Notable Transactions
- Represented the California State University, on behalf of its San Diego State University campus, in a long-term stadium licensing agreement with San Diego’s new expansion MLS team, which provides for the expansion team to play its home matches at SDSU’s Snapdragon Stadium beginning in 2025.
- Represented Wyndham Hotels in a multi-year, league-wide sponsorship transaction with Minor League Baseball.
- Represented Credit Karma in a multi-year jersey patch sponsorship transaction with the Houston Rockets.
- Represented Just Women’s Sports, a digital-first consumer media brand dedicated to women’s sports, in a transaction with iHeartMedia for the distribution of Just Women’s Sports’ women’s soccer-focused podcast, “Snacks.”
- Represented the California State University, on behalf of its San Diego State University campus, in a multimedia rights agreement with JMI Sports.
- Advised MLB club in connection with the long-term extension of its existing naming rights agreement.
- Represented the Fresno State Athletic Corporation in a multi-year collaboration and support agreement with Valley Children’s Hospital, which makes Valley Children’s Hospital the naming rights partner of Valley Children’s Stadium, a multipurpose football-specific stadium in Fresno, California that is home to Fresno State Bulldogs football.
- Represented Inova Health System in a multi-year, multi-faceted naming rights, sponsorship, and medical services transaction with MLS’s D.C. United, which makes Inova the naming rights partner of D.C. United’s training facility, an official sponsor of D.C. United and its USL affiliate, Loudoun United FC, and the exclusive provider of medical services to D.C. United and Loudoun United FC.
- Represented the California State University, on behalf of its San Diego State University campus, in a naming rights and sponsorship transaction with Qualcomm Inc., which makes Qualcomm the naming rights partner of Snapdragon Stadium, a multipurpose stadium in San Diego, California that is home to several teams, including SDSU Aztecs football and NWSL’s San Diego Wave FC.
- Represented Paragon Marketing Group in connection with the formation of an elite national high-school basketball league, the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC).
- Represented Q2 Holdings in a multi-year naming rights and sponsorship transaction that makes Q2 the naming rights partner of Q2 Stadium, a multipurpose soccer-specific stadium in Austin, Texas that is home to MLS’s Austin FC.
- Represented Total Quality Logistics in a multi-year naming rights and sponsorship transaction that makes TQL the naming rights partner of TQL Stadium, a multipurpose soccer-specific stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio that is home to MLS’s FC Cincinnati.
- Represented Hollywood Park in a multi-year naming rights and sponsorship transaction with Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi), which makes SoFi the naming rights partner of SoFi Stadium, a multipurpose football-specific stadium in Inglewood, California that is home to NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers.
- Represented Hollywood Park in a multi-year naming rights and sponsorship agreement with Google, Inc., which makes YouTube the naming rights partner of YouTube Theater, a 6,000-seat performance venue at the Hollywood Park sports and entertainment complex adjacent to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
- Represented the California State University, on behalf of its San Diego State University campus, in connection with all founding partner sponsorship transactions relating to Snapdragon Stadium, including with Toyota, the San Diego Zoo, Heineken, Cox Communications, Sycuan Casino Resort, Kaiser Permanente, Quidel, Proximo Spirits, Anheuser-Bush, Cutwater Spirits, Dos Equis, Alesmith Brewing Company, and Nova Easy Kombucha.
- Represented Hollywood Park in connection with all cornerstone sponsorship transactions relating to SoFi Stadium, including with PepsiCo, Google, American Airlines, Samsung, Ball Corporation, Cisco Systems, Anheuser-Busch, Hyundai, Ticketmaster, Square, Toyota, Verizon, Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, Diageo, Melissa’s Produce, Pechanga Resort Casino, Proximo Spirits, Clear, and Uber.
- Represented the Miami Heat in connection with numerous advertising and sponsorship agreements related to the team and Kaseya Center, including with AT&T, Betway, and BMW.
- Represented New York City Football Club (NYCFC) in connection with a variety of sponsorship, promotional, and operational agreements.
- Represented New York Red Bulls in connection with a variety of sponsorship, promotional, and operational agreements.
Real Estate, Corporate, & Hospitality
Zak advises clients on a wide range of real estate, corporate, and hospitality matters, including:
- Purchase and sale agreements
- Joint venture agreements
- Operating and partnership agreements
- Leasing and subleasing agreements
- Ground leases
- Financing agreements
- Guarantee and indemnity agreements
- Licenses and easements
- Entity formation and restructuring
- Franchise agreements
- Hotel management agreements
- Title and survey review
- Land use and permitting matters
- Affordable housing
- Rent control compliance issues
Recent Notable Transactions
- Represented ASM Global in a new long-term ground lease and $40 million renovation plan for Desert Diamond Arena, a multipurpose arena located in Glendale, Arizona.
- Represented The Buccini/Pollin Group, Inc. in connection with financing transactions for the Virgin Hotels Nashville property located in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Represented a hotel owner in connection with the sale of two large hotel properties, valued at approximately $150M each.
- Represented ASM Global in a joint venture agreement with GreenCity Partners for the development of GreenCity, a $2.3B development project located in Henrico County, Virginia.
- Represented an investor in a joint venture agreement for the purchase and development of tract of Metaverse parcels.
- Represented the Los Altos School District in the acquisition of a new 11.65-acre school site in Mountain View, California in a transaction valued at over $155M.
- Represented Corten Real Estate Partners in capital investment transactions in connection with the Ace Hotel, a full-service upper-scale hotel in Brooklyn, New York, Margaritaville Resort, a full-service resort in Palm Springs, California, and the Sheraton Imperial Raleigh-Durham, a full-service upper-scale hotel in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.
- Represented a real estate developer in connection with Facebook’s lease of a 432,000-square foot, 55-story high-rise building in downtown San Francisco, California.
- Represented a multinational technology company in connection with leasing and subleasing matters for its North American real estate portfolio.
- Represented a data storage company in connection with the subdivision and sale of a 400,000-square-foot office campus in Sunnyvale, California to Google.
Awards and Recognitions
- For 2024, Zak has been recognized by Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for his expertise in Entertainment and Sports Law and Real Estate Law.
- In 2023, Zak was recognized by Legal500 as a ranked attorney in the Sports Industry.
- In 2022 and 2023, Zak was recognized by Super Lawyers as a Northern California “Rising Star” in the Entertainment and Sports Industries.
- In 2022 and 2023, Zak was recognized by Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for his expertise in Entertainment and Sports Law.
Prior to joining ArentFox Schiff, Zak worked as a real estate associate at a large international law firm in San Francisco.
During law school, Zak served as an Executive Editor of the California Law Review and the Managing Editor and Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Berkeley Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law. He also worked as a legislative aide for Senator Dianne Feinstein in her Washington, DC office and as an extern for the Honorable Judge Jon S. Tigar of the US District Court for the Northern District of California.
Before law school, Zak worked for six seasons for the San Francisco Giants as a Clubhouse Assistant.
Life Beyond the Law
Zak enjoys traveling, playing softball, snowboarding, and attending sporting events and live music.
Bar & Court Admissions
- California Bar
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, JDUniversity of California, Davis, Double BS in Managerial Economics and Environmental Science and Policy, cum laude