Sports Contract Negotiation

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Whether the client is a college player who has just been drafted or a free agent exploring options with other teams, contracts play a significant role in any athlete’s career. And, it’s not just the employment agreements; successful athletes will be offered endorsement and sponsorship deals that must all be considered carefully and handled in a way that protects the player. The lawyers in the Dickinson Wright Entertainment Sports and Media group have years of experience negotiating and drafting contracts for leading professional athletes. We understand how to protect their rights and interests, both now and in the future. Working side-by-side with our clients, we offer trusted, experienced guidance through the entire process.

Dickinson Wright has negotiated with teams in every major U.S. league, as well as with recognized brands, sponsors, and advertisers. We view every deal through a wide-angle lens that considers the impact on an athlete’s entire career, and not just what’s on the table at the moment. Will this contract limit them in any way? Does it tie them down for too long? Is this a good brand to associate with the player’s reputation? We also look beyond compensation to protecting a client’s rights to their valuable name and trademarks, particularly concerning domain names, websites, social media, and other online uses, both now and as technology evolves.

Our work in this area includes:

• Negotiating and drafting player agreements
• Negotiating and drafting sponsorship and endorsement deals
• Renegotiating existing contracts
• Managing copyright and trademark agreements
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