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Jeremy M. Evans – California Sports Lawyer

SoCal sports attorney turns names into brands

For Jeremy Evans, it’s as much a case of being everywhere deals can be made as it is about being there for his clients.

As founder, chief entrepreneur officer and managing attorney for California Sports Lawyer, Evans is leveraging his clients’ fame and visibility for something indelible, not just endorsements and acclaim.

Jeremy M. Evans – California Sports Lawyer

Jeremy M. Evans | Founder, Chief Entrepreneur Officer and Managing Attorney | California Sports Lawyer

When founding the firm in 2012, Evans was well aware of the changes taking brand partnership deals to new levels and strengthened by the social media clout that entertainment, media and sports celebrities have created to turn themselves into brands.

“I am an entertainment, media and sports attorney on the transactional side,” Evans says. “I have really based my career and pursuit of success on geography, branding and community. Where there is deal-making, that is where you will find me.”

Everlasting

Think of LeBron James founding an entertainment production company or Kevin Durant hosting podcasts: Not only are sports stars moving beyond websites and social media pages; they’re light years beyond baseball star Jose Canseco’s 1-900 paid hotline, or even the ubiquitous “Be Like Mike” Gatorade ads featuring Michael Jordan.

LeBron and KD are among the cues Evans can cite as he works with his own clients. However, it’s his own accessibility that matters most.

Jeremy M. Evans – California Sports Lawyer

“I started my practice with two concepts in mind,” he says. “I want people to be able to find me easily, and I never want to be too big not to answer the phone for clients.”

Indeed, athletic fame can be especially fleeting, with careers lasting 20 years at best—making Jordan’s staying power even more of a rarity. So as Evans helps build beyond the image, he’s making sure his approach is omnichannel.

“I find that being engaged in social media and being passionate about my own brand helps me consult my clients,” he says. “I am out there and I can see the power of a brand and producing content. I can advise my clients from a direct experience.”

Irons in the fire

The geographic base for California Sports Lawyer is already firm—Southern California being an entertainment, media and sports nexus—a place where deals aplenty are ready to be made. Wanting his firm’s name to be different and easier to find, Evans also trademarked it and consistently focuses on branding and community, reinforcing the foundation.

His weekly podcast, “Bleav in Sports Law with Jeremy Evans” focuses on entertainment, media and sports industry topics with special guests. His weekly column on the same topics appears at sportsradioamerica.com.

Jeremy M. Evans – California Sports Lawyer

If anyone misses him in those venues, he also teaches graduate sport management courses in sports law and ethics in sports law at Cal State University Long Beach and American Public University in Los Angeles.

“Being in the action is important, but the way you do it is key,” Evans says. “If I put on or an attend an event, it is because I want to learn something and genuinely connect with people.”

Extended expertise

When he’s not teaching, writing or broadcasting, Evans consults with entrepreneurs in the entertainment, media and sports industries for the U.S. Small Business Administration. It’s not legal representation, but the pointers he offers on what direction is needed can help those businesses get off the ground.

Evans has also served as counsel and legal affairs manager at INNOCEAN USA, a Huntington Beach advertising agency working with clients including Hyundai, TaylorMade Golf and Hankook Tire. There, he reviewed contracts, approved disclaimers and helped strategize business growth, always from a holistic approach.

Jeremy M. Evans – California Sports Lawyer

“As in-house counsel, it was an opportunity to advise on company strategy and to see how I could help with sustainable process and growth,” Evans says.

Since 2018, he has also been chief legal officer at Where the Buffalo Roam, a Culver City entertainment production company that creates live and animated films, videos and commercials. The transactional and contract work is much the same as that at INNOCEAN, he adds.

And yet, Evans still gets six to eight hours sleep every night. He also finds time to read the trade papers such as Variety, Front Office Sports and the Hollywood Reporter to keep informed.

“It is all about organization,” he says. “I am not a procrastinator. If I see something that needs to be done, I tackle it.”

Staying hungry

A native of Southern California, Evans has spent his life in this prime geography to build a career in entertainment, media and sports law.

He earned a bachelor’s in political science from UCLA in 2005, followed by a JD from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2011—an experience that gave him the opportunities to study law at Université Nice Sophia Antipolis in France and Zhejiang University in China.

He also served as student bar association president, editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and founded the National Sports Law Negotiation Competition.

“I loved leadership activities, and I was really involved with my classes and negotiation competitions,” Evans recalls. “It opened me up to the idea that I could continue to do what I love and opened my mind up to being an entertainment sports lawyer.”

Jeremy M. Evans – California Sports Lawyer

JD attained, Evans thought he was done with school, but has since earned his LL.M. in Entertainment, Media and Sports Law from Pepperdine Caruso Law in 2018 and his MBA in the same concentration from Pepperdine Graziadio Business School in 2020.

Evans is also vice president of the California Lawyers Association and contributes his writing and event skills to various magazines and organizations, including the American Bar Association’s Entertainment and Sports Lawyer. He’s also a co-captain for outreach in Southern California with the Sports Lawyers Association.

He likes to play ball as well; he’s a shortstop and centerfielder in a coed baseball league.

It’s a life that keeps him moving in many directions, but always with geography, branding and community well within sight.

“From day one, I focused on the virtual aspects of the business, which was different from traditional law practice structures,” Evans says. “I want to be efficient. I want to be agile and be able to move. The most difficult thing in running a business and a brand is consistency. The good thing is, I am hungry and never content, always looking for ways to adapt and be a better business lawyer.”

Published on: October 20, 2020

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