Darren Adam Heitner is the Founder of Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., an adjunct professor of Sports Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, an adjunct professor of NIL at the University of Miami School of Law, a certified arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, and author of many books published by the American Bar Association (How to Play the Game: What Every Sports Attorney Needs to Know) as well as numerous articles in Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and Above the Law. Heitner has been referred to as one of the foremost experts on name, image, and likeness (NIL) by The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, and On3, a power player in NIL deals by Action Network, “a founding father of college athletes earning rights,” and a top sports trademark attorney by Sportico.
Heitner has been honored with the University of Florida’s 40 Under 40 Award, the University of Florida Levin College of Law’s Oustanding Young Alumnus Award, and named the best lawyer in Fort Lauderdale by Fort Lauderdale Magazine. In 2023, Heitner Legal was the only law firm named to Sports Business Journal’s first list of NIL Power Players.
Heitner’s sports clients have included Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Owens, Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, University of Florida Athletic Hall of Famer Fred Taylor, Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyreek Hill, Xavien Howard, Jamal Adams, Nick Chubb, Mac Jones, Shane Bieber, Manny Ramirez, Anna Kournikova, Draymond Green, Terry Rozier, Haley and Hanna Cavinder, and Rick Pitino.
In 2005, Heitner got his start in the business of sports by creating Sports Agent Blog, which has since that date served as a lead publication in the space surrounding sports agency news, interviews, information, and opinion.
In 2007, Heitner graduated magna cum laude from the University of Florida with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science, and was named Valedictorian of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 2010, Heitner received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.
Heitner has always fashioned himself as an athlete advocate. In 2019, Heitner was asked by Florida Representative Chip LaMarca to assist with the crafting and promotion of legislation that sought to provide Florida college athletes with the right to profit off of their names, images, and likenesses (NIL). The bill passed both the Florida House and Senate before being signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in June 2020, making Florida the first state to have a July 1, 2021 effective date and leading the way toward establishing important NIL rights for all college athletes across the United States. Heitner has continued to be an advocate for athlete rights and worked on behalf of numerous athletes and brands, including Gatorade, INFLCR, Marketpryce, and Icon Source, in the NIL space.
Heitner is licensed to practice law in the State of Florida, State of New York, District of Columbia, Southern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York, District of New Mexico, Northern District of Illinois, Southern District of Texas, Eastern District of Texas and Western District of Texas.