Welcome to the Member in the Spotlight, a new newsletter feature introducing SLA leaders, members and industry influencers to the SLA community. This month we would like to introduce you to Bobby Hacker, SLA President.
Bobby Hacker, President, Sports Lawyer’s Association and Principal at Robert A Hacker, Attorney at Law
and Sports Media Consulting

SLA’s Newly Elected President Bobby Hacker Shares
Vision and Key Initiatives

We caught up with Bobby Hacker right after the recent SLA Annual Convention in Phoenix where he was named SLA’s president and asked him a few questions about his goals for SLA. 

A California native and former rugby player, Hacker worked at FOX Sports for 18 years before starting his own sports law and media consulting firm a few years ago with a growing focus on esports. He was one of the early movers on identifying esports as a growth industry and providing legal services to the esports community. According to Hacker, esports law is similar to legal work in traditional sports “. . . whether it's a stick and ball or a keyboard and controller, you're dealing with many of the same kinds of issues.”

Question:  Let’s start with the big question first. As president, what is your vision for SLA going forward?

Bobby Hacker:  I hate to talk in clichés, but I feel like I'm “standing on the shoulders of giants.” The previous presidents of the SLA have been leaders across all aspects of the sports industry and I truly am honored to be in this role.

A key strategic question I want to address as president is: “Is SLA a conference organization that has a membership or is SLA a membership organization that holds a conference?” I think it is the latter. This positioning will drive what we do as an organization. 

Question: Can you elaborate on this strategic positioning for SLA? What do you hope to achieve?

Bobby Hacker: I have two key initiatives to increase member benefits and support overall membership growth. First, I want to establish and launch a robust Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Second, my plan calls for fostering more communications and connections between all our committees. I think we can break down any silos that exist between our committees and improve the organization. 

I am passionate about both these initiatives and believe they will positively impact the entire organization.  The organizational structure will remain the same but I want the committees to be working with and know what other committees are doing. This process starts with me. I plan to be in regular communications with all committee chairs.

Question:  What do you say when someone asks if they should join SLA? What are the member benefits?

Bobby Hacker:  If you're a sports lawyer or seeking to be a sports lawyer, certainly in America, it's the pre-eminent organization in the industry. Having been involved with various legal organizations in the past, the benefits on a per dollar basis for the SLA exceed any other legal organization that exists in the world and I'll argue that with anybody, anytime. 

There is nothing like the SLA conference in terms of access and networking.  Access to member-only material through our website including recent cases and a library of forms and contracts is another benefit. Thirdly, the opportunity to meet key influencers in the industry is unmatched. Last year, SLA hosted the head of China’s sports government agency, for example.

Question:  Any parting comment you’d like to make?

Bobby Hacker:  SLA is a membership organization and a membership organization is about being a team and everybody on the team has a role on that team. So I urge you to join the team and get involved. Sign up to work on one of SLA’s committees. These are incredible opportunities for members to bolster their careers and make connections. Email me directly if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help.  BobbyHacker@sportslaw.org  

Monthly Member Spotlights introduce SLA leaders, members and industry influencers. Have a suggestion for a Member Spotlight? Email mpritchard@virtualinc.com and tell us about a special SLA member and how we can contact him/her.