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Marvin Harrison Jr. Was Set to Earn $1.05 Million in Fanatics Deal

Highlights

  • Fanatics sued Harrison Jr. for alleged breach of contract, requiring him to provide items and autographs.
  • Harrison's initial denial of a contract was eventually countered by his lawyer as being non-binding.
  • The contract between Harrison Jr. and Fanatics included obligations such as signed jerseys and autographs.

A lawsuit filed in New York is detailing a possible obligation that Arizona Cardinals rookie wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. had with sports retail company Fanatics.

Fanatics filed suit against Harrison Jr. on May 18, alleging breach of contract. The company is accusing Harrison of not meeting his obligations while also denying the contract existed.

According to the suit, Fanatics was going to pay Harrison $1.05 million between April 1, 2024 and March 31, 2026 in exchange for game jerseys and more than 35,000 autographs.

This agreement was laid out in a term sheet that was described in the document itself as a "binding term sheet".

Marvin Harrison Jr.
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Harrison, Fanatics Ready for Legal Wrangling

The contract would've paid Harrison over $1 million.

Arizona Cardinals WR Marvin Harrison Jr.
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It's unclear how far the lawsuit may go. The document also says:

Each party acknowledges and agrees that (i) it shall be legally bound by the terms and conditions of this Term Sheet... both sides will work together in good faith to negotiate an agreement to combine, amend and restate the contract.

Fanatics attorneys would, late last month, ask the court to seal the sheet, along with redacted sections.

This is because the sheet had "sensitive, non-public commercial information related to Plaintiff and Defendants, including the specific terms of their confidential contractual arrangement, the publicization of which could negatively impact their businesses.

Harrison's attorney filed a motion yesterday saying that Harrison did not object to the sealing, but also that Harrison does not consent to the sheet being a binding contract.

Harrison signed the contract on May 16, 2023, with Fanatics' general counsel Shiri Ben-Yishai signing two days later. The contract was split into two phases.

Phase 1 covered the time between the signature until March 31 of this year. Phase 2 was set to run from April 1, 2024 until March 31, 2026.

The term sheet said that it would:

Include exclusive, worldwide trading card (physical and digital) and trading card autograph right[sic].

It also said Harrison would wear 30 jerseys in the 2024, 2025, and 2026 seasons and give them to Fanatics.

On top of that, the term sheet stipulated that Harrison would sign at least 35,000 autographs for Fanatics, with an option for 15,000 more.

Harrison was also required to follow 10 fans on social media during Phase 1, along with posting one short promotional video and making one public appearance. In Phase 2, Harrison would have to make five social-media posts, follow 10 fans (it's unclear if these are the same 10 fans from Phase 1 or 10 new ones), post one short promotional video, make two public appearances, make one 60-minute-long appearance for fans, make one Fanatics Live virtual experience, and make five trading-card swaps.

He'd also have to make one "media capture day" in which he'd be required to pose for still photos and video.

Marvin Harrison Jr. College Stats

Games

38

Receptions

155

Receiving Yards

2,613

Receiving Touchdowns

31

Rush Attempts

4

Rushing Yards

58

Rushing Touchdowns

1

Harrison would also have to attend private signings for fans and do meet-and-greets at each one. For the $1.05 million, $800,000 would be paid out in a lump sum and $250,000 would be in Fanatics shares.

His per autograph fee would be $30, with inscriptions costing $10. He could've gotten higher fees had he been picked first or second overall in the NFL Draft.

Harrison would've been allowed to sign up to 100 autographs for fans, charity, and teammates if he wasn't paid for them. He would've gotten a $100,000 bonus for being the number one overall draft pick, and depending on how the wrangling over the term sheet plays out, he could get additional bonuses.

If he's the Offensive Rookie of the Year or NFL MVP, either one of those would pay $100,000. If he's a starter on a Super Bowl-winning Cardinals team, that's worth another $100,000, and if he's the Super Bowl MVP that's worth $200,000.

The term sheet specifies that these numbers could be smaller should Arizona trade him to another team. Furthermore, the sheet could be terminated if Harrison is charged with a felony. Or if he's charged with a crime "involving moral turpitude, or commits any illegal, egregious or other offensive act that Fanatics believes, in its reasonable sole discretion, subjects Fanatics to material public disrepute, scandal or ridicule."

We'll see how this all plays out in court.

Source: ESPN

All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference unless stated otherwise.

Marvin Harrison Jr., Arizona Cardinals
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