When a young athlete receives glowing offers and big promises, quickly signing on the dotted line is tempting. However, the news constantly shares stories of big-name stars who are unhappy with a contract and struggling in one way or another.
The hidden conditions of an agreement may make a seemingly great deal a loser. Athletes looking to sign a sports contract should head into negotiations with open eyes.
1. Setting goals
Athletes should clarify to themselves what they want out of a contract. Are certain financial figures nonnegotiable? Do particular perks hold more value? Knowing goals and long-term financial plans before entering negotiations helps a person stand firm on essential points.
2. Gathering information
A wise negotiator has as much information about the situation and the other party as possible. Researching current and past contracts for athletes who play the sport and due diligence on the organization give details into what to expect. The team has a distinct advantage here, so athletes cannot have too much data.
3. Determining guaranteed money
Understanding the amount of guaranteed money and when payments arrive is crucial. Such clauses protect a young player if something unexpected happens, like an injury or poor performance. Additionally, knowing when payments come assists with managing living expenses.
4. Understanding the contract length
A long-term contract can tie a player down to one team for several years without having any say over one’s situation. On the other hand, short-term contracts can leave athletes vulnerable in terms of job security and salary increases. A balance is necessary.
Negotiating sports contracts is a tricky business. With proper preparation and research, an athlete can avoid common pitfalls.