Darren Heitner

Darren is an attorney focusing on sports, entertainment, intellectual property, litigation and transactional work. In 2014, the American Bar Association published his Sports Law-related book titled, "How to Play the Game: What Every Sports Attorney Needs to Know." The Second Edition of that book was published in February 2018.

Darren is a Double Gator, with a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctor degree from the Levin College of Law. He has also taught Sports Law in the grad program and at the Levin College of Law. In 2019, Darren was named to UF's 40 Under 40. In 2020, Darren was honored with UF Law’s Outstanding Young Alumnus award.

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Darren Heitner

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Transgender Athlete Law

Today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law SB 1028, which is an education bill covering a wide array of topics. One of those topics concerns transgender participation in female sports. Specifically, the new law says that while athletic teams or sports designated for males, men or boys may be open to students of the More

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Business
Darren Heitner

Marcus Lemonis Gets The Last Laugh As Joel Embiid Loses Trademark Battle To Register ‘Trust The Process’

Joel Embiid has lost, on appeal, an effort to register the trademark for “TRUST THE PROCESS.” (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) Many years ago, the Philadelphia 76ers decided to trust the process. Since then, the organization has gone from a team that logged only 10 wins during the 2015-16 NBA regular season to finishing first in the Eastern Conference this season, with a 2-0 lead over the Washington Wizards in round 1 of the NBA Playoffs. The phrase, “Trust The Process,” has been commonly uttered by those in and around the organization as the team has gone from the laughingstock of the league to a leader, and Joel Embiid, in particular, has taken an interest in the words, going as far as calling himself “The Process.” In fact, on November 21, 2018, Embiid filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to register the trademark, “Trust The Process,” for use in connection with the sale of shoes. Embiid originally filed the application on an intent-to-use basis, identifying to the USPTO that he had a bona fide intent to sell shoes in connection with a “Trust The Process” brand in the future. Embiid was blocked by a prior […]

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Darren Heitner

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Sports Betting Compact, Setting Up Potential For Wagers By November

On May 25, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed five bills, which included CS/SB 2A – Implementation of the 2021 Gaming Compact Between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the State of Florida. Governor DeSantis’ signature pushes forward a 30-year plan that includes the Seminole Tribe paying the State of Florida $2.5 billion annually over the More

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Darren Heitner

Court Document Claims Zion Williamson Received Improper Benefits Prior To Enrolling At Duke

A new filing in an ongoing lawsuit between Zion Williamson and his former marketing agents claims that Williamson and/or his family received improper benefits before he ever enrolled at Duke University. “Recent filings in Bowen vs. Adidas, et al., Case No. 18-CV3118, pending in the United States District Court, District of South Carolina, have revealed More

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Tai Walker NFT
Business
Darren Heitner

Taijuan Walker Became The 1st MLB Player To Sell An NFT And He’s Already Planning His Next

Patrick Mahomes recently sold $3.7 million worth of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It followed Rob Gronkowski’s sale of $1.75 million in NFTs. Each athlete successfully auctioned off a limited number of digital art pieces connected to their respective NFTs, which has caused many others in the world of professional sports to take an interest in learning More

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Business
Darren Heitner

Trading Cards Are Booming And Growing On The Blockchain, But Are They A Bubble About To Burst? Panini VP Says No.

Image of a Patrick Mahomes trading card with blockchain technology, courtesy of Panini America. The physical and digital trading card market is exploding. A Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Topps Chrome Refractor card recently sold for $1.79 million and, in January 2021, a 1952 Topps Micky Mantle card sold for $5.2 million, which is currently the most expensive sports trading card to be sold on the secondary market. One person who does not believe that the boom in trading cards is close to being a bubble is Jason Howarth, Vice President at Panini America. He says that people are purchasing rare trading cards like the 1-of-1 Luka Doncic that went for $4.6 million this year as an alternative asset and justifying acquisitions as another form of investment. In fact, Howarth proudly makes the claim that trading cards have historically outperformed the S&P 500, which is something commonly heard from people in the industry. On the latest episode of the How to Play the Game podcast (Apple/Spotify), I spoke with Howarth about Panini America’s commitment to digital trading cards and building on the blockchain, how he views the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFT) like NBA Top Shot, what makes him most optimistic about […]

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