CWRU Law Partners with Alumni-Founded Sports Data Labs to Create First-Ever Lab Focused on the Legalities of Collection, Usage and Ownership of Athlete Data

Mark Gorski and Stan Mimoto
Left to right: Mark Gorski and Stan Mimoto

Case Western Reserve University School of Law is proud to announce the formation of the first-ever Athlete Data Lab in partnership with alumni-founded Sports Data Labs, Inc. (SD Labs). The newly-created lab will aim to bring clarity to the global complexities associated with the collection, processing, and monetization of an athlete’s personal data, which includes health data, biomechanical movement data, mobility data, medical record data and other personal information. The lab will also aim to bring focus to critical legal issues related to the interplay between privacy and intellectual property rights, as well as issues related to the recognition of athlete data as a form of digital property, on a state-by-state basis in the U.S., as well as globally. 

Through its partnership with SD Labs, CWRU’s Athlete Data Lab will be provided with access and exposure to novel, real-world use cases, while providing guidance on specific legal focus areas through the direct involvement of SD Labs and their partners. Topics will include the legalities related to the collection and use of athlete data by employers (e.g., teams), governing entities (e.g., Leagues, Federations, Tours), data collectors, processors and other third-party organizations (e.g., sports betting operators, media rights partners), as well as the collection and use of athlete data for other employment, performance and commercial use cases. The lab, which will kick off in the fall 2023 semester, will operate under CWRU School of Law’s Spangenberg Center for Law, Technology & the Arts, and will be overseen by program director Craig Nard. The lab will be open exclusively to CRWU Law students who will receive course credit for their participation in the program. 

“This is a very exciting day for the Case Western Law community,” said Craig Nard, the Galen J. Roush Professor of Law at CWRU. “Through our partnership with Sports Data Labs, we will be able to provide students with first-hand experiences in one of the most dynamic and growing areas within the sports sector, while providing guidance to the global sports community on the many legalities associated with collection and use of athlete data. Sports Data Labs has been a pioneer in this space, and we believe the work we will be doing together through the Athlete Data Lab will provide a framework to support individuals and organizations in unlocking the value of athlete data globally.” 

Craig Nard

SD Labs was founded in 2015 by two CWRU alum, Mark Gorski (LAW ’07) and Stan Mimoto (LAW/MBA ’08). SD Labs provides patented and other proprietary technologies that empower data owners to collect, control and monetize their personal data. In sports, SD Labs partners include a multitude of tier one global sports properties.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with a world-class institution like Case Western Reserve University to develop this first-of-its-kind Lab and support their mission to provide students with unparalleled learning opportunities in one of the most underdeveloped and under-interpreted areas of the law,” said Mark Gorski, Co-Founder and CEO of Sports Data Labs. “Stan and I have spent years navigating the legal, technical, and commercial issues related to collection and use of athlete data on a global level and pioneering its real-world implementation. We are thrilled to partner with CWRU School of Law to share our learnings and leverage their resources in support of our mission to empower athletes to collect, control, and monetize their personal data.”

“Personal data is on a path to become a monetizable digital asset – and in many cases a form of personal digital property – that can be used by an individual as consideration,” said Stan Mimoto, Co-Founder and President of Sports Data Labs. “The way in which your personal data is collected and used by organizations, however, is fragmented. Different states and countries have varying regulations and perspectives that govern the collection and use of personal data by individuals and third parties. This creates a significant opportunity for CWRU and SD Labs to not only provide the leading legal analysis related to collection, use, and ownership of personal data across all regions globally, but to become the global thought leader on this topic.” 

CWRU and SD Labs will be forming an athlete data advisory board that will support the lab in a variety of ways. Participants will include leading global players associations, governing bodies, commercial organizations and other leaders in the athlete data ecosystem.