Last November, months before the rest of the city caught wind that the nonprofit group DC 2024 was exploring efforts to have Washington host the 2024 Olympics, Akin Gump attorney Tony Pierce got an e-mail from Bob Sweeney, president of the Greater Washington Sports Alliance who is leading the charge for the Olympics bid.
“He reached out to me to see if we would support the effort and be the law firm to help form the organization,” said Pierce, partner in charge of Akin Gump’s Washington office.
Pierce and his colleagues Howard Jacobson and Ken Alderfer advised on how to incorporate DC 2024, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. They will now shift their focus to advising on fundraising issues as the group looks to drum up financial support.
“There’s going to be a myriad other issues likely to come up as this organization does its fundraising, which is going to be all private money,” Pierce said. “Once that is done and the organization has sound financial footing, we will then advise it on all kinds of other issues including [intellectual property] issues like licensing, and some policy issues as we make sure we have right level of government support.”
Down the road, those could include issues arising from corporate sponsorships, advertising and supplying apparel and beverages at the Games.
Akin Gump, one of the largest law firms in the city, is doing the work on a pro bono basis. Pierce said he may later reach out to other law firms if the need arises.
Pierce also serves on the board of DC 2024, and is secretary for the Greater Washington Board of Trade, which is involved in the Olympics initiative.
“I’m a native Washingtonian and Akin Gump is a great business in the region and we’re very active in the business community,” Pierce said. “We wanted to help when asked.”