Douglas Gibson

Douglas G. Gibson

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Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: +1 202 662 5483



  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1990
    • cum laude
  • Johns Hopkins University, B.S., 1987
    • with honors

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia

Doug Gibson is a partner in the corporate group and is resident in the Washington, DC office.

Mr. Gibson represents the firm’s sports clients, including Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, the PGA of Americas, the United States Tennis Association, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and the Chicago Cubs.  He also has extensive experience in the consumer products industry, representing such clients as Benetton International S.A. and Giorgio Armani, S.P.A.

Mr. Gibson’s practice emphasizes strategic counseling; mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures; debt financings; and sports media transactions.  Mr. Gibson has significant expertise in cross-border transactions gained both during his tenure at Covington and through his prior experience as General Counsel of Bacardi Limited.  In addition to negotiating and structuring transactions, he advises clients on general corporate and strategic matters, including corporate governance issues and senior executive employment and incentive arrangements.

Representative Matters

  • Representing Steve Ballmer in efforts to acquire the Los Angeles Clippers. 
  • Representing the Independent Advisory Committee to the United States Olympic Committee, chaired by Paul Tagliabue, in its assessment of the board structure and operations model of the USOC. 
  • Representing the National Football League in the negotiation of its television contracts with CBS, FOX, NBC and ESPN and in the negotiation of its Sunday Ticket out-of-market package with DirecTV. 
  • Representing Time Warner Cable in negotiations with respect to the Dodgers’ RSN. 
  • Representing the NHL in negotiating its media rights deal with Rogers Canada. 
  • Representing Major League Baseball in the launch of The MLB Network, including the negotiation of joint venture arrangements with distributors for ownership of the channel. 
  • Representing the National Football League various league and team financings, including in the NFL’s multi-billion league-wide commercial paper and term note financing program and in its G-3 stadium funding program.

Previous Experience

  • Bacardi Limited, General Counsel and member of the Executive Committee (1998-2000).  While at Bacardi, Mr. Gibson oversaw the Company's acquisition of the Dewar's Scotch Whisky and Bombay Gin brands, including the required $2 billion multinational financing for that transaction. He also managed the negotiation and implementation of the Company's production and distribution joint venture with the Chinese government and the establishment of a Bacardi manufacturing and distribution venture in India.

Honors and Rankings

  • Law360, Media & Entertainment MVP (2014)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2009-2016)
  • LawDragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2014)
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Washington Sports Lawyer of the Year (2013)
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, leading sports lawyer (2007-2015)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Business/Corporate (2013-2015)
  • Legal 500 US, Sports (2008-2010, 2014-2015); M&A/Corporate and Commercial (2015); and Telecoms and Broadcast: Transactional (2012-2013)
  • Washingtonian, Entertainment (2013)

Pro Bono

  • Representation of The Facundo and Elizabeth Bacardi Family Foundation.         

Memberships and Affiliations

  • England & Company, Member of the Advisory Board

Publications and Speeches

  • "Launching a Single Sport Cable Network," SportBusiness International (04/2009), Co-Author
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