Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2908287
 


 



Protecting Big Data in the Big Leagues: Trade Secrets in Professional Sports


Lara Grow


University of Georgia

Nathaniel Grow


University of Georgia - Department of Insurance, Legal Studies, Real Estate

January 30, 2017

Washington and Lee Law Review, Vol. 74, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
The protection of trade secrets within the professional sports industry became a hot-button issue in the summer of 2015, after news reports emerged revealing that officials from Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals were under federal investigation for having illegally accessed proprietary information belonging to their league rival, the Houston Astros. Indeed, professional sports teams in the United States and Canada often possess various forms of proprietary information or processes — ranging from scouting reports and statistical analyses to dietary regimens and psychological assessment techniques — giving them a potential competitive advantage over their rivals. Unfortunately, as with the rest of the economy at-large, little empirical data exists regarding either the types of proprietary information owned by these teams, or the measures that teams are taking to protect their trade secrets.

Drawing upon freshly collected survey data, this article helps to fill this void in the literature by providing novel empirical evidence regarding the modern trade secret practices of the teams in the four major North American professional sports leagues. Based on the results of a first-of-its-kind survey conducted in the spring of 2016 of the general counsels of teams in the four major leagues, the article sheds light on both the types of information subjected to trade secret assertion by these firms, as well as the methods they are using to safeguard their data. In the process, the article examines the implications of these survey results for the professional sports industry, while also identifying potential new lines of inquiry for future trade secret research.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: Trade Secrets, Sports, Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, Analytics


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Date posted: February 1, 2017  

Suggested Citation

Grow, Lara and Grow, Nathaniel, Protecting Big Data in the Big Leagues: Trade Secrets in Professional Sports (January 30, 2017). Washington and Lee Law Review, Vol. 74, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2908287

Contact Information

Lara Grow
University of Georgia ( email )
Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States
Nathaniel Grow (Contact Author)
University of Georgia - Department of Insurance, Legal Studies, Real Estate ( email )
Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States
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