Basketball is a famously fast-moving sport, and professional basketball is a fast-moving business. A player can be a rising star one week and a fading one the next.

Florida basketball fans may or may not be familiar with the name Joakim Noah. Last year, the 7-feet-tall center for the Chicago Bulls had the best season yet in his six years playing for the NBA, despite the fact that he was suffering from potentially serious foot problems during part of the year. At the end of the season, he was officially named as an NBA All-Star. Recently, the player signed an endorsement deal with athletic shoe maker Adidas, becoming the seventh current member of the team to sign an endorsement deal. Observers expect many more endorsement deals to come for Noah.

Previously, Noah reportedly received about $1 million in income per year from athlete endorsements alone. He’s expected to double that figure now that his star appears to be on the rise.

Professional athletes are the most highly trained and talented people alive in their chosen fields, but that doesn’t mean they have any particular skill or interest in negotiating contracts for merchandising and licensing deals. When there is a lot of money on the line, professional athletes need help from legal professionals who know how to manage the financial details of their careers. Florida attorneys with a background in sports and entertainment law can represent professional athletes and help them to make the most of their careers. A successful career in sports requires more than talent and hard work. It requires networking connections and making wise choices. Professional representation can help athletes through many stages of their careers.

Source: Crain’s Chicago Business, “Joakim Noah signs endorsement deal with Adidas,” Danny Ecker, Oct. 8, 2013