Kendall Johnson works at the intersection of sports and entertainment, drawing on her unique level of crossover experience to handle transactions spanning across the industry.

Combining broad transactional experience and sophisticated industry knowledge, Ms. Johnson regularly navigates complex transactions in the sports and entertainment business. She works with a mix of clients based both in the US and internationally, including:

  • Professional teams, governing bodies, and other major sports rightsholders
  • Networks, studios, streaming platforms, and independent production companies
  • Digital and new media content creators and distributors
  • Private capital and strategic investors
  • High-level individual talent

Her practice work includes:

  • Licensing of media, sponsorship, and other commercial rights for college, international, and professional sports organizations
  • Private capital investments, strategic joint venture arrangements, and industry specific M&A
  • Film and television financing and distribution transactions
  • Complex content, brand licensing, and strategic talent arrangements

She currently serves as a Vice Chair for Latham's Global Recruiting Committee. Prior to joining Latham, Ms. Johnson worked in the Stanford University athletic department, where she acted as the primary public relations contact for various teams, collaborated closely with television networks, and coordinated media efforts for numerous NCAA Championship events.

Ms. Johnson’s experience includes advising:


Media Rights and Event Hosting

  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the eight-year extension of its multimedia rights agreement with CBS and Turner for the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship
  • The International Olympic Committee in connection with the US$7.75 billion licensing of broadcast and new media rights in the United States, as well as its ongoing licensing and management of media, sponsorship, and other intellectual property rights
  • FIFA and US Soccer in connection with the city selection process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, to be jointly co-hosted by the US, Mexico, and Canada
  • Nexstar / CW Network in their:
    • Media rights agreement with Raycom for a package of ACC football and basketball games 
    • Media rights agreement with Barstool Sports for the broadcast of the Arizona Bowl 
  • Pac-12 Conference in media rights negotiations
  • Facebook (now Meta) in its acquisition of sports distribution rights across the globe, including its historic bid for Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket rights in the summer of 2017
  • US Figure Skating, the national governing body for the sport, in a television and digital rights agreement with NBC covering domestic and international events through 2026
  • The Arizona Diamondbacks in connection with their multi-year broadcast and media rights agreement and ownership interest in Fox Sports Arizona
  • The Stronach Group on multi-year broadcast agreements with NBC for the Preakness Triple Crown and other premier horse racing events
  • Two NHL teams, the Dallas Stars and the Anaheim Ducks, in their multi-year broadcast and media agreements with Fox Sports*

Acquisitions and Investments

  • Sixth Street Partners in its investment in Bay FC, the Bay Area NWSL expansion franchise
  • RedBird Capital Partners in the formation of EverPass Media and licensing of exclusive commercial establishment rights for NFL Sunday Ticket
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group in its:
    • US$10.6 billion acquisition of the former Fox regional sports networks from Disney
    • Formation of a joint venture with the Chicago Cubs to create Marquee Sports Network
    • Investment in YES Network with the New York Yankees and other investment partners
  • A group of US sports and media investors in a strategic partnership with FIBA to invest in the Basketball Champions League (BCL) and other global basketball competitions
  • Endeavor in its acquisition of a majority stake in the premium hospitality company On Location Experiences and related negotiation of On Location’s long-term commercial partnership with the NFL
  • Certain limited partners in their equity investment in Josh Harris’ consortium to acquire the Washington Commanders for US$6.05 billion
  • The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) in connection with equity and ownership matters

IP and New Technology

  • The NCAA on a long-term agreement with Genius Sports to modernize the collection and distribution of its intercollegiate sports data
  • Buzzer, a micropayments-based sports content app, in its rights deals to distribute NBA and NHL content
  • NextVR in a multi-year partnership with the NBA to produce and distribute games in virtual reality


Acquisitions and Investments

  • MGM in its:
    • US$8.45 billion merger with Amazon
    • Acquisition of Big Fish Entertainment
  • Blumhouse in its acquisition of Atomic Monster, the production company founded by filmmaker James Wan
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment in its:
    • Approximately US$1.2 billion acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T
    • Sale of GSN Games to Scopely
  • Mediawan in its acquisition of a significant stake in Plan B Entertainment, the production company co-founded and led by Brad Pitt
  • Searchlight Capital Partners in the take private of Hemisphere Media Group, and the related sale of Pantaya, a Spanish-language streaming platform, to TelevisaUnivision
  • Silver Lake on its US$500 million investment in Shadowbox Studios, an Atlanta-based builder and operator of soundstages for TV and film productions
  • Mountain (MNTN), a leading self-serve performance TV platform, in its acquisition of Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort Marketing
  • Starz Entertainment in its acquisition by Lionsgate for a combination of cash and stock totaling US$4.4 billion
  • Netflix on its acquisition of Millarworld, the comic book publisher behind Kick-Ass, Kingsman, and Wanted
  • AMC Networks in its investment in Funny Or Die

Talent-Driven Joint Ventures

  • Mast-Jägermeister in its investment in Teremana, the tequila brand founded by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  • A-Frame Brands in the launch of talent-driven brands with Naomi Osaka, John Legend, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union
  • Equity investors in the re-launch of Castle Rock Entertainment’s film division in partnership with Rob Reiner
  • D’Amelio Brands, the namesake company of social media phenoms Dixie and Charli D’Amelio, in its formation and capitalization
  • Directors Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America, Avengers: Infinity War) in their partnership with China's Huayi Brothers to form film and content company, AGBO
  • MGM in the formation and acquisition of United Artists Media Group and the purchase of certain reality television and other media assets of Mark Burnett (including Survivor, The Voice, Shark Tank, and The Apprentice)
  • Participant Media in its joint venture with DreamWorks Studios, Steven Spielberg, Reliance Entertainment, and Entertainment One to form Amblin Partners
  • Univision in the formation and capitalization of Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network, including the financing and distribution of From Dusk Till Dawn and other original series
  • Producer Brian Oliver in the launch and capitalization of New Republic Pictures and various motion picture financing and distribution arrangements, including a multi-picture co-financing agreement with Paramount and financing arrangements for 1917 and Rocketman
  • Brad Weston in the creation of MAKEREADY, a global content production company with backing from Entertainment One and worldwide distribution by Universal Pictures
  • Techstyle in a brand endorsement venture with Rihanna
  • A major restaurant enterprise in a brand ambassador and consulting agreement with Oprah Winfrey

Strategic Commercial Transactions

  • The Hollywood Foreign Press Association in its broadcast and other entertainment industry transactions, including its media rights agreement with NBC and Dick Clark Productions for the broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards
  • MGM in a variety of strategic transactions, including its:
    • Subscriber migration and content licensing arrangements with Lionsgate+ in Latin America and Europe
    • Multi-year joint venture with Annapurna Pictures for the domestic distribution of MGM films
    • Multi-picture development, production, financing and distribution arrangement with the Russo Brothers
    • International distribution arrangements with Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures for the rights to the James Bond franchise and the rest of its film slate
    • Co-financing arrangements with BRON Studios
  • Spotify in various audio content licensing and production matters, including its exclusive multi-year pact with Emma Chamberlain for the Anything Goes podcast and the rollout of Greenroom, its live audio app
  • Blumhouse in connection with various corporate, employment, and investment matters, including its arrangement with Universal and Morgan Creek to re-boot The Exorcist franchise
  • Hammerstone Studios in the formation and capitalization of a gaming investment fund and the co-financing of a prototype for a “Black 5” video game with Rogue Games, Columbia Pictures, and others
  • Verizon in various content financing and distribution arrangements, as well as a joint venture with Hearst Communications and the acquisition of Complex Media
  • International Game Technology in the licensing of film and television-related intellectual property for use on various gaming devices and online gaming platforms
  • Starz Entertainment in the creation of “Starz Play” in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America*

*Matters handled prior to joining Latham

Thought Leadership

“Enforceable Fair and Square: The Right of Publicity, Unconscionability, and NCAA Student-Athlete Contracts,” 19 Sports Law J. 1 Spring 2012

Bar Qualification

  • California


  • JD, University of California, Los Angeles, 2012
    Order of the Coif
  • BS, Santa Clara University, 2006
    summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa