Now that Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather is finally enjoying the fruits of his labour in retirement, he’s no longer the biggest earner in the diverse world of sport.
That honour belonged to his former rival Connor McGregor in 2021, with the Irishman having transcended sport through a variety of his investments to become a household name with immense earning potential.
The earnings of stars like McGregor also highlight the vast scope of sports contracts for those at elite level, while such agreements can also be incredibly complex. But what are the key considerations before signing a sports contract of any description?
Understand the Broad and Finer Terms of the Contract
This may be an obvious observation, but it’s amazing to see how many individuals sign contracts and agreements without fully understanding the terms or their obligations.
This not only applies to headline terms such as the duration of the contract, remuneration and potential reasons for termination, but also any hidden clauses that may sit somewhere in the agreement’s small print.
The only way to achieve this is to read and review each clause included within the contract, while seeking out expert legal advice when you encounter terms or language that you don’t understand.
This may be time-consuming, but it’s also crucial if you’re to enter into a viable agreement that’s beneficial for all parties involved.
Does the Contract Reflect Discussions?
At all levels, contract negotiations can be challenging, with each party having their own goals and expectations and a pressing need for compromise if an agreement is to be reached.
There may also be instances in which the final terms and language of a contract may not reflect the discussions that have previously taken place and your own unique expectations.
In this case, it’s important to clarify such terms with the other party involved, in order to iron out any misunderstandings and avoid signing contracts that are ultimately not in your interests.
Understand Your Obligations
Signing high value contracts or a first professional sports agreement can be incredibly exciting, and athletes are prone to be distracted by their annual salary or potential bonus payments.
However, you should note that all such terms are dependent on meeting specific behavioural standards and performance goals, and the failure to meet these demonstrably could result in payment or bonuses being withheld.
In the worst case scenario, such failures may also result in the termination of your contract, especially if they’re repeated over an extended period of time.
So, it’s crucial that you understand your obligations before signing the deal, as you should be able to commit to such standards as a professional sportsman.