Businesses and athletes work together on various levels and could be a very beneficial relationship. In the footwear business, athlete endorsements are extremely important. The biggest athletic shoe brands fight over the biggest names in basketball and other sports, hoping to have a little of the athlete’s magic rub off on the brand and attract eager customers. Florida sports fans know this phenomenon well, but increasingly the shoe companies have their eyes on a global market.

That effect could be seen recently when NBA player Jeremy Lin’s endorsement deal with the American Nike Inc. expired and he immediately signed a new deal with Adidas AG of Germany. As the first Chinese American player in the NBA, the Harvard-educated, 25-year-old Lin has attracted a great deal of attention both among North Americans of Asian descent and among sports fans in Asia. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Lin told reporters that one of the most important parts of his deal with Adidas would be the requirement that he go through promotional tours in Asia. Adidas and Nike are fierce competitors in Asia. According to reports, Adidas currently has about 11 percent of the athletic shoe market in China, while Nike has about 12 percent.

Endorsement, merchandising and licensing deals can be some of the most lucrative contracts in sports. For many athletes, the amount of money in these deals can easily eclipse the amount they obtain through their annual salary or more traditional forms of income.

Negotiating contracts is seldom easy, especially when there is so much at stake, and the sports business throws its own complications into the process. Those in Florida’s sports industry can benefit from the help and guidance of a professional with experience in the many aspects of sports law. This is especially important when it comes time to negotiate contracts.

Source: Bloomberg, “Jeremy Lin Signs Adidas Endorsement Accord After Nike Deal Ends,” Scott Soshnick, Jan. 6, 2014