Melinda Morris Zanoni

Top rated Entertainment & Sports attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina

Apollo Sports & Entertainment Law Group
Melinda Morris Zanoni
Apollo Sports & Entertainment Law Group

Practice Areas: Entertainment & Sports, Media & Advertising, Intellectual Property; view more

Licensed in North Carolina since: 1996

Education: University of Illinois College of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2022 - 2024

Apollo Sports & Entertainment Law Group

1300 Baxter St.
Suite 100-B
Charlotte, NC 28204 Visit website


Melinda Morris Zanoni is a sports, entertainment & media lawyer who splits her time between Charlotte and Los Angeles. Melinda is the Managing Member of Apollo Sports & Entertainment Law Group, a HUB certified law firm. 

Melinda represents some of the most well- known sports teams, entertainment companies, celebrity estates, sports leagues & media companies.  She has participated in $21B of transactions and successfully negotiates cutting- edge and complex network agreements, NIL, endorsement, licensing, publishing, recording, NFT, intellectual property, sponsorship, and digital media deals as well as serving as legal counsel for television shows and films.

Melinda is a distinguished and respected attorney in the sports & entertainment industry. She regularly speaks on entertainment and sports law matters. She was recently featured in the national "Sports Business Journal" and Women With Know-How magazine as well as on major TV media outlets.

Active in her legal community, Ms. Morris Zanoni belongs to the NC Bar Association and is a member of the Sports & Entertainment Law Council. She also belongs to the Illinois State Bar Association and served on the  Regional Partnership Film Board. She is a member of Women Executives and volunteers her time to B.R.A.K.E.S., a nonprofit founded by a NHRA driver. 

After graduating with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with B.S. degrees in Economics and Business, Melinda earned her law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law, graduating cum laude. Prior to founding Apollo Sports & Entertainment Law Group, she practiced with Nelson Mullins and also Thompson Coburn in Chicago.

When not practicing law, Melinda enjoys exotic cars, exercise, and world travel.

Practice areas

Entertainment & Sports, Media and Advertising, Intellectual Property

Focus areas

Communications and Media Law, Copyrights, Entertainment, Sports & Leisure Law, Trademarks

  • 70% Entertainment & Sports
  • 20% Media and Advertising
  • 10% Intellectual Property

First Admitted: 1994, Illinois

Professional Webpage:

  • TV Commentator in various media on Entertainment & Sports related legal matters (TWC News 14 etc.)., Commentator / TV Guest
  • Video blast speaking as expert on "Coronavirus and Entertainment Law", Expert Series for NCBA, Entertainment, Media, Sports, 2021
  • Sports & Entertainment Super Lawyer , Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers
  • Magazine Cover and Feature Article, Women With Know How
  • Most Stylish Recipient and Feature, Carolina Style Magazine, 2015
  • Article featuring Melinda Morris Zanoni and Apollo Sports & Entertainment Law Group, Feature Article, Sports Business Journal, 2020
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Sports Lawyers Association Member 
  • Sports Business Journal Thought Leaders: Member of the invitation-only, most exclusive executives in sports business
  • ABA Member of Forum on Entertainment & Sports
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Women Executives. WE is a group of accomplished women representative of leaders in the business and professional community. Membership in WE is by invitation only through a sponsored application process, 2021
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Sports & Entertainment Law Presenter, 2020
  • North Carolina Bar Association Sports & Entertainment Section Council Member
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Various entertainment and sports law-related conferences and seminars including North American Law Summit; Name Image Likeness presentation to D1 Universities and coaches; Covid impact on sports & entertainment , Speaker, NALS; NCBA
  • Adjunct Entertainment Law Professor at CSL every week for 3 years, Adjunct Professor Entertainment Law, CSL
Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Participation and achievement in multiple Bar, Business, Mentoring, Civic, Community, and Charitable endeavours.
  • Select Representative Transactions Ava Gardner Estate Whiskey launch; Charlotte Checkers; Panthers QB NFL for Bose, TopGolf, Panini, and NoBull endorsements; Chris Forsberg Racing; Renee Rapp Mean Girls on Broadway; Juan Gabriel Estate 100M records sold; ESPN 30 for 30; SONY and Virgin music licenses; NASCAR; Kathy Ireland skincare endorsement; Michael Jordan's commercial for Novant Health; Coca-Cola sponsorship deals; NC, SC, and TN Lottery Ticket licensing and endorsement deals; celebrity collabs for Target, P&G, Guess, Dolce & Gabbana, Neutrogena, Tommy Hilfiger; Amazon; Charlotte Checkers; Actors/Comedians (Mall Cop; Fargo); Celebrity Wife Swap (ABC); NFL Panthers’ appearances; NBA analyst; Hank the Cow Dog (54 book series); Lottery tickets; MLS; NASCAR driver appearances; ESPN League broadcast deal; NBA Sleepy Floyd Film; Netflix documentary; Cowboys QB sponsorships; Selena avatar production.
Representative Clients:
  • Charlotte Checkers Hockey; Estates of Hollywood Legends Ava Gardner and Grammy Award winner with 100M records sold Juan Gabriel; Cowboys QB; Media personalities; Novant Health/ Michael Jordan commercial; Film &TV /Actors ("Mall Cop", "Magic Mike XXL", "Fargo"); NBA clients; Motorsports; Meteorologist Jim Cantore, Coca-Cola and Amazon sponsorships; Athlete Podcasts; MLS; Broadway stars; Publishers; Avatar Production Companies; Team Owners; Sports Leagues 
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • HUB Certified Law Firm (100% minority law firm and woman-owned)
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • Multiple successful settlements related to Sports & Entertainment law clients in publishing, touring, MCN, and digital media multi-million dollar claims.
Educational Background:
  • University of Illinois, with Honors, B.S., Economics and Business
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Dress For Success, 2022
  • WINGS scholarship program helping women become leaders 
  • Love Progress Park sponsor and volunteer  - leadership training for young female athletes  
  • B.R.A.K.E.S. sponsor; Urban Ministry Center; Charlotte Dog Rescue; Goodwill; AMVETS; mentor interns from various local schools of higher education; CMPD fundraisers
  • Charlotte Regional Partnership, Film Board
White Papers:
  • Presentation and materials for sports team on copyrights, infringement, music licensing; stadium use; film and TV clip licensing; broadcast rights; fair use; social media content; and IP rights in music. , Intellectual Property Lunch & Learn for Sports Teams , Sports, 2023
  • Presented and submitted written materials for distribution as an expert on "Coronavirus and Entertainment Law" for NCBA in 2021. Featured expert., NCBA Expert Series -Entertainment, Sports, Media, Entertainment, 2021
Industry Groups:
  • Advertising
  • Entertainment
  • Intellectual Property
  • Media
  • Sports

Office location for Melinda Morris Zanoni

1300 Baxter St.
Suite 100-B
Charlotte, NC 28204

Phone: 888-472-1931


3 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2022 - 2024

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