Why American Needle-NFL is most important case in sports history

On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguably the most important sports law case in U.S. history and one that could dramatically reshape how the NFL and other leagues conduct their business.

The facts of American Needle v. NFL are simple. From the late 1970s to 2000, apparel maker American Needle enjoyed a licensing contract with NFL Properties, a business which controls the NFL’s licensing contracts (such as for the use of NFL logos on clothing and in video games). NFL Properties is equally owned by the 32 NFL teams, which share its revenue. Other apparel companies had similar licensing contracts with NFL Properties.