Team Player: GC For The Braves
Baseball is not just a game for Greg Heller, in charge of handling legal and business matters for teams in five leagues
This is Greg Heller's 13th season as legal counsel for the Braves. As senior vice president and general counsel, Heller manages legal affairs for the Braves and the minor-league affiliates it owns, including the Gwinnett Braves, the Mississippi Braves near Jackson, Miss., the Rome Braves and the Danville, Va., Braves.
His responsibilities include providing guidance and counsel on baseball operations matters, sales and marketing, broadcasting, stadium and business operations, intellectual property, corporate governance, legislative affairs, employment and litigation.
Prior to joining the Braves, Heller spent seven years with the TBS sports legal group, which included the Braves, Hawks, Thrashers, Philips Arena, Goodwill Games, Turner Sports television group (and its NBA, NASCAR, PGA, British Open and MLB properties), and the Turner Sports new media group (and its NASCAR, PGA and PGA TOUR and ACC Select properties).
Heller set his sights on a sports law career early on. He began his career in sports law as an undergraduate at Indiana University, where he earned a degree in sports marketing and management.
He graduated from Marquette University Law School, where he was student articles editor of the Marquette Sports Law Journal and wrote an article on the NCAA enforcement process. In 2004, Heller was named by Marquette University as its Sports Law Alumnus of the Year.
After graduation, he joined Powell Goldstein Frazer & Murphy as an associate and practiced in general corporate, mergers and acquisitions, securities and sports and entertainment law matters. In 1997, he joined the Chicago law firm of Horwood Marcus & Berk and continued his practice in general corporate, mergers and acquisitions and sports and entertainment law matters. Heller joined TBS in 2000. Heller was picked up by Liberty Media when it purchased the Braves in 2007.
Tell us about your department and your role in it.
We are a three-person legal department comprised of myself, Jason Domir, who is our associate general counsel, and Eve Porter, who is our coordinator of legal affairs. We handle all legal matters for our major league club and our four owned and operated minor league clubs in Gwinnett, Mississippi, Rome and Danville.
We handle a variety of legal matters and support every area of the business including baseball operations, business operations, sales and marketing, labor and employment, intellectual property and litigation. We also manage the government affairs work for the company.
You and your department deal with so many legal issues. How would you describe where you put your time?