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YouTube Co-Founder’s GreenPark Sports Hires McDermott Lawyer

Nov. 18, 2020, 10:18 PM

GreenPark Sports Inc., a digital and mobile gaming company started by YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, hired its first in-house lawyer this week.

Han Yu’s first day as GreenPark’s vice president of legal affairs was Nov. 16, said a spokeswoman for McDermott Will & Emery, the law firm where Yu was counsel.

The Los Angeles-based Yu specializes in copyright, rights clearance, and licensing issues in digital media and entertainment. He came to McDermott in 2007 after more than a decade at what is now Squire Patton Boggs and predecessor Graham & James, whose Beijing office Yu joined as an associate in the mid-1990s.

Yu, who didn’t respond to a request for comment about his new position, in private practice was part of a team of McDermott lawyers advising GreenPark, including intellectual property partner Jorge Arciniega, who joined the firm’s Los Angeles office from Graham & James in 2001.

Arciniega and McDermott have represented Calabasas, Calif.-based GreenPark in trademarking apparel, betting services, non-alcoholic energy beverages, and video game software, according to public records.

McDermott said GreenPark’s been a client since the company’s inception in 2018. The firm has advised GreenPark on a wide range of areas, such as brand licensing, corporate, labor and employment, patent and trademark, and privacy work.

In October 2019, GreenPark announced an $8.5 million seed funding round led by venture capital firms Signalfire LLC, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund Management LLC, and Sapphire Ventures LLC, the latter of which participated through a $115 million fund it launched to invest in the sports media, gaming, and entertainment space.

GreenPark’s other backers include CEO Ken Martin; Nick Swinmurn, founder of online shoe retailer Zappos.com Inc.; and Hurley, who stepped down as CEO of YouTube a decade ago following its nearly $1.7 billion sale to Google LLC.

In an interview last year with technology industry trade publication TechCrunch, Hurley was cryptic when pressed for details about GreenPark’s gaming platform.

“We shared a love of sports and set out to look into opportunities around legalized sports betting in the U.S.,” Hurley told TechCrunch. It soon became “obvious the regulated space wouldn’t allow us to innovate as quickly as we wanted,” he added.

GreenPark, in touting a licensing agreement in March with artificial intelligence provider DataRobot Inc., said it’s a “publisher and developer of fan-forward, digital experiences and mobile games for the new generation of sports and esports fans.”

That announcement came after GreenPark unveiled a partnership with the League of Legends esports league to create a fantasy sports experience for esports fans.

GreenPark’s hire of Yu is the latest in a series of in-house legal appointments in the digital gaming arena, which has watched its audienceand profits—grow amid coronavirus pandemic lockdown orders.

In September, esports infrastructure and investment company Vindex LLC recruited DLA Piper partner Gina Reif Ilardi as its first-ever general counsel. Skillz Inc., a mobile gaming company preparing to go public by merging with a blank-check company, hired Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo partner Charlotte Edelman over the summer as its new vice president of legal.

TitletownTech Ventures LLC, a joint venture formed by Microsoft Corp. and the National Football League’s Green Bay Packers to invest in the esports space and other industries, announced in October a list of key advisers that included chief legal officer Eric Matzke, a partner at Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com
John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com