chapter  5
28 Pages

Professional Athletes and Players’ Associations/Unions

ByGeorge Foster, Norm O’Reilly, Antonio Dávila

This chapter examines key decisions that affect elite-level participants in sports. It examines differing aspects of the ecosystems surrounding compensation negotiations for athletes. The chapter often looks at issues from the professional athlete’s perspective. It covers roles often played by players’ associations and agents. Athletes are assets in the professional sport business. They are drafted, signed, traded and their contracts often sold. Elite athletes at the highest levels are pivotal assets for clubs and leagues due to their ability to provide on-field performance, to attract large revenues, grow fan following for a sport, and drive alternate revenue sources such as sponsorship, merchandising and media rights fees. A general principle in negotiations is that the broader the demand from different parties, the higher the compensation.