Athletic Contracts

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Athletic Contracts

A Brief Introduction About the Athletic Contracts

Athletic contracts are legally binding agreements for athletes to promote the product of the sponsor’s company. In general, athletes are paid a lot of money within one year than other people earn. The athletic contract involves the meeting of the minds of the sponsor and an athlete. An athletic contract has the same principles as the other form of an employment agreement. Most of the athletic contracts are express contracts in which the agreement has its proof by their written or spoken words. There are no more implied contracts in the sports industry in which there is no written or spoken words evidence.

Who Takes the Athletic Contracts?

These contracts are an essential part of many athletes in earning good money. Some of the highest-paid sports personalities are used for promoting different business products and services. Usually, such contracts act as an offer to them. For such an offer, the athletes can respond in four ways, such as accepting the offer, rejecting the offer, counter offering, or not responding to the offer, which leads to terminating the contract after a certain period.

Purpose of the Athletic Contracts

The main purpose of the athletic contract is to pay millions of dollars to an athlete for promoting the company’s product. An athletic contract can have much effect on the lives of the athletes and thousands of people. Contracts for the athletes should always be in a written form and should contain certain factors to safeguard athletes from participating in dangerous activities. Most of the sponsors make a thorough check on the highest-paid athlete of all time and choose the same athlete to get some publicity for their products and services through such celebrity.

Sports agents and lawyers play a major role in terms of negotiating an athletic contract for athletes. Lawyers who represent athletes have been trained related to the field of athletes and also familiar with the current trends to negotiate good compensation rates for the athletes. But in some cases, the athletes don’t like to hire an attorney or agent to avoid paying commissions or other fees associated with the contracts. But when you consider the largest sports contracts, there will be sure for the presence of sports agents and lawyers to assist such celebrity athletes.

Contents of the Athletic Contracts

While preparing the contract, the consent or assent of a party must be genuine. In most cases, the assent may not be genuine with few mistakes. Hence, the contract may get affected due to one or both of the things done with the mistake. Based on the mistake committed by one or both parties in an agreement, the contract is considered to be void. When reading the document by one party and the other party doesn’t have enough knowledge to read and understand the terms and conditions of the contract, it is the duty of the one to explain the other party.

Some contracts also include consideration which means the price paid for the promise made by one to the other party.  The next element in an athletic contract is that the agreement must be made based on a lawful objective. This means that the court will not force the things in a contract that are violating the public policy.

How to Draft the Athletic Contracts?

In general, sports contracts are of three categories, such as professional services contracts, endorsement contracts, and appearance contracts. Based on the type of contracts, there are certain points to be considered while preparing the agreement, and the same fact applies to an athletic contract. When preparing an athletic contract, the sponsor looks for various factors that will favor his company. So any athletes must hire an attorney to assist him/her about the terms and conditions. When the sponsor’s company is related to baseball products and services, then he will browse and check that who is the highest-paid baseball player?

Based on his compensation, he will either choose or look for another celebrity athlete. A Sponsor should look after certain things before choosing the right celebrity athletes and also while preparing the agreement. While preparing the agreement, the sponsor should take care of the terms and conditions related to compensation, marketing materials to be used by the athlete and the competitor’s name, etc. To avoid any disputes in the future, mention all the terms and conditions.

Negotiation Strategy

For example, the sponsor chooses the biggest baseball player to promote his products, and then the contract would be of the biggest baseball contract. In such a situation, compensation provided to an athlete should meet market standards. If not, an athlete should hire an attorney to negotiate for good terms from the sponsor.

Benefits & Drawbacks of the Athletic Contracts

Pros:

  • The contract benefits mutually both the athlete and the organization sponsoring the athlete.
  • An athlete can earn a lot of money through an athletic contract.
  • The Sponsor’s company is getting good business exposure by choosing celebrity athletes as their brand promoter. In most cases, the sponsor will search for the one who is the highest-paid athlete in the current market.

Cons:

  • In some contracts, there will be a chance for an athlete to get restrictions related to their activities.
  • The sponsor’s company image may damage when the athlete enters into an illegal or violating act(1).

[Also Read: Athlete Sponsorship Contract]

What Happens in Case of Violation?

These issues will be mentioned in the athletic contracts itself to avoid any disputes between the parties. When an athlete violates the rules of the contract, he will be sentenced by law. Even an athlete has the right to terminate the contract(2) when he/she was not paid by the sponsor. In such a situation, it is better to hire an attorney to take care of these issues.

An athletic contract is a contract that helps the sponsor for the best promotion of their products and services with the help of celebrity athletes. Thus, an athletic contract helps both parties involved in the agreement for their developments.