Frequently Asked Questions About Obtaining Entertainment Contracts
Signing to a sports team can be an exciting time in any athletes’ life. However, during all of the hype, many make a huge mistake. They don’t realize their worth and sign contracts that are not beneficial to them. Luckily, there is someone looking out for your best interests in such a situation. A sports agent can help negotiate your entertainment contract, helping to ensure you get paid what you are worth with terms that are fair to both you, the team you play for and the league. If you have never worked with an agent, you may have many questions about agents and entertainment contracts. Here are a few of those questions, as well as the answers.
The biggest benefits to hiring a sports agent to negotiate your contract is that they have experience doing so. It can be extremely challenging and intimidating to try to negotiate the terms of a contract if you have no experience doing so. You may not know what to ask for, what common terms mean or what you can get away with with certain sports and teams.
Another major benefit to hiring a sports agent is that they know the value of your skill set. What one sports player may make can vary greatly from what another player gets. It can be challenging trying to place a value on yourself. An agent has experience doing so and can ask for an amount that is fair, so that amount doesn’t scare teams away or cause them to walk away from the negotiation process.
Many athletes worry that since they can’t afford to hire a sports agent, they can’t obtain one. Luckily, sports agents know that when you are coming out of college, you don’t have the money to pay them a lump sum of cash to negotiate on your behalf. As such, they typically take a percentage of the salary amount that they negotiate for you. This amount can vary from 10 to 25 percent, depending on a variety of factors, such as signing bonus, length of years for the contract and the value of the contract.
Generally speaking, the sports player and the agent are already working together. The agent may come to the player or the player may come to the agent. However, once they are together, there are a few ways a contract gets drawn up. If a player is drafted, the agent works with the drafting team to put together a contract. If the player is not drafted, the agent can send the player to teams, camps and other activities that increase their visibility to teams who may want to pick them up and sign them. Should a team notice the player and want to sign them, they go through the agent to work out the details.
As a player you need a contract to ensure your future and your job. Having that contract allows security for you and the opportunity to know where you may be for the next few months or years, depending on what was negotiated. Most athletes prefer to play someplace for years as it gives them and their family stability. By allowing someone to know where they will be will alleviate the stress of moving the family, finding a new home, school, doctor and all of the other obligations that go with having a career along with a family. Having a contract allows you to be protected as long as you follow what you are supposed to be doing or not doing. For example, a football team may not want their star quarterback to ride a motorcycle because they need his arm to win games, winning games brings in revenue and a lot of money for the owners and franchise. The contract also dictates how much money you get and when, so there is no discrepancies when it comes to that.
The most common item that is negotiated in a contract is financial compensation. An agents will negotiate how much money you get and when you get it. You may receive a signing bonus or incentive-based bonuses. All of this is negotiated by the agent.
Another common item that is negotiated is the length of your stay with a team. Some contracts are short, expiring after one season. Others are longer, lasting as long as ten years.
While player’s agents commonly negotiate contracts with sports teams, they may also negotiate product deals and endorsements for the player. If your agent negotiates this on your behalf, they will come to an agreement as to what is required of you to promote the product, such as wearing the brand or shooting an ad campaign, and what you will be paid for your participation.
Additionally, teams may try to place restrictions and guidelines in the contract. They may want to watch a player’s health and personal conduct. If the player fails to abide by these guidelines, the team can terminate the contract. As such, a great agent will try to limit the amount of guidelines in the contract, to ensure their player isn’t likely to break any rules that can hurt their finances in the future.
The right sports agent can help get you fair pay and fair terms in regards to your entertainment contract. Getting answers to questions you have about this topic will help you to better understand the process, which can also help you know what to look for in an agent. Doan Sports Management can help you with all of your entertainment contract needs. If you have any questions, give us a call today.