Brian Heidelberger is partner and chair of the firm’s advertising, marketing, and privacy law group. His practice concentrates in advertising, promotions, e-commerce/new media, privacy, trademark and other intellectual property, sports, and entertainment law matters.
Mr. Heidelberger is chair of a practice that was ranked both band #1 in Illinois by Chambers USA and a 2011 “Media & Entertainment Group of the Year” by Law360. From a personal perspective, he was named a “Leading Lawyer” by Legal 500 for marketing and advertising, being specially commended for his “insightful, prompt, cost effective advice.” In the field of sports and entertainment, he has also been named to Super Lawyers.
For the past 17 years, Mr. Heidelberger has developed a strong insight into marketers, brands, and the agencies who service them. He has assisted both advertisers and agencies engaged in global and local agency-client relationships, secure talent and music at the highest levels, navigate the complexities of social/new media campaigns and promotions, defeat and reclaim critical domain names, as well as resolve claims of copyright, trademark, and the right of publicity infringement and/or false advertising. Mr. Heidelberger also has represented some of the nation's most prominent athletes to manage all of their personal, professional, and charitable legal needs.
A more full set clients that he represents and the services that he provides them is set forth below.
Mr. Heidelberger represents:
- Consumer Products/Packaged Goods Companies
- E-Commerce/New Media Ventures
- Advertising/Promotions/Fulfillment/Event Marketing Agencies
- Athletes, Entertainers and Their Agents
Mr. Heidelberger Practices:
- Advertising Law: Advertising clearance/claim substantiation, music/talent/sponsorship licensing, branded entertainment, agency/client agreements, children’s advertising, regulated industries and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) matters.
- Promotions Law: Sweepstakes, instant win games, contests, coupons, rebates, gift cards, loyalty programs and event/cause/entertainment marketing and transactions related thereto.
- E-Commerce/New Media Law: Social media, user-generated content, mobile marketing, e-commerce and domain names.
- Privacy Law: All consumer privacy law issues, such as e-mail marketing, text messaging, telephone solicitations, behavioral advertising, and marketing to children.
- Trademark and Other Intellectual Property Matters: Clearance, protection, licensing and maintenance of trademarks, copyrights, domain names and other intellectual property.
- IP, Advertising and Entertainment Litigation/Disputes: Handling claims relating to false and misleading advertising, copyright and trademark infringement, right of publicity and cyber squatting, including FTC, AG, NAD, SAG, and UDRP actions.
- Sports and Entertainment Law: In concert with other firm attorneys where necessary, provides personal and professional assistance to athletes and entertainers in the areas of trusts and estates, corporate matters, non-profit foundations, intellectual property, domain names and sponsorship/endorsements. Representative past and present representations include the NBA’s Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Luol Deng, Kevin Durant, Shaun Livingston, and Devin Harris, the NFL’s Donovan McNabb, MLB’s Chien-Ming Wang, as well as the sports agency, CSMG Sports.
Honors and Awards
- Named an Illinois Super Lawyer in Entertainment and Sports by Super Lawyers
- Named a Illinois’ Leading Media and Entertainment Lawyer by Chambers and Partners Publications
- Named an Illinois’ Leading Media Lawyer by Lawyers Network
- Named to Best Lawyers In America — Advertising Law
- Noted as a top practitioner for Marketing and Advertising Law by The Legal 500
- Named 1 of the 6 “Top Partners in Chicago to Work For” In the Above the Law Career Center Survey
Speeches and Publications
Mr. Heidelberger’s representative speaking engagements include:
- “Isn’t Going Away: What Corporate Counsel Need to Know about Social Media,” Northwestern University School of Law, 50th Corporate Counsel Institute, October 5-6, 2011
- “The Dos and Don’ts in Managing Talent Agreements,” Association of National Advertisers’, Environmental Marketing: Legal Risks of Claiming to be Green, March 15, 2011
- “Environmental Marketing: Legal Risks of Claiming to be Green,” Strafford Legal Publishing Group, Teleconference, November 30, 2010
Mr. Heidelberger’s representative published work includes:
- “Contract issues for NBA expatriates,” Sports Business Journal (2011)
- “Business Moves Your NBA Player Should Make As Soon As He’s Drafted,” Sports Agent Blog (2011)
- “6 Biggest Misconceptions About the FTC’s New Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” Promotion Marketing Association (2009)
- “Paying for the Mistakes Of Others: Retailer Liability for False Advertising Claims,” Washington Legal Foundation (2009)
- “The 7 Biggest Legal Risks to Your Company When Using Social Media,” Advertising Age (2009)
- “Avoid Consumer-Generated Risks — 10 Good Tips for You to Use to Protect Yourself and Your Clients,” Advertising Age (2007)
- “Critical Advertising and Promotional Agreements, Inside the Minds: Advertising and Marketing Law,” Aspatore Books (2005)
- Legal counsel to KaBOOM!, Inc., a national nonprofit organization whose vision is “a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America”. Mr. Heidelberger was at the core of a team that secured $85 million to create more than 1,100 community-built playgrounds in the Gulf Coast Communities Affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
- Legal counsel to Wade’s World Foundation, a national nonprofit founded by the NBA’s Dwayne Wade, which provides support to community-based organizations that promote education, health, and social skills for children in at-risk situations.
- Legal counsel to, and Board Member of, Luol Deng Foundation (U.S. and U.K.), an international nonprofit founded by the Chicago Bulls’ Luol Deng, whose main mission is to provide means for Africans (children and adults alike) with access to the most basic human needs from shelter to water, health, and education.