Jose A. Gonzalez
The business of being an athlete
Elite and professional athletes are among the most revered figures in our culture. And it’s not just the talent and skill they bring to their sport; it’s also their passion.
That said, being a top athlete is about more than fans and playing a game. It’s a career most athletes have worked their entire lives to secure. And as a profession, it comes with some business-related demands and opportunities.
There is much more to an athlete’s contracts than compensation amounts. This is especially true if an athlete has endorsement, appearance and sponsorship agreements.
These contracts can contain a wide range of clauses that dictate what an athlete must or cannot do when he or she will receive compensation and what behaviors or events will result in the cancellation of the contract.
With so much on the line, knowing what’s in these contracts is crucial. And because many athletes don’t have a legal background, having an attorney present before signing anything and in the event that a party must enforce a contract can be crucial.
Recently, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s company filed to trademark an image of his face and hair. The company plans to use the imagery to sell products and promote workshops and camps.
Kaepernick is hardly the only athlete to take legal steps to protect and monetize a brand and image. Many athletes take steps to protect their name and likeness from being misused or without their permission. Taking steps like securing a trademark can help an athlete protect their brand and reputation and take action against parties who use the protected material without authorization.
Building a solid team
Being an athlete is a business, and that means that there are laws and protections in place that can help or work against an athlete. Because of this, having an attorney by your side when it comes to legal matters can be wise.