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View Full Version : Why no baseball contracts similar to the Beckham deal?



ieddyi
01-12-07, 10:43 AM
Reading about Beckham's new contract the splashy headline is the $250M sum.

But in hearing of the details, it seems a lot of the money will come from endorsements ( in the one article I read that had details they said he was getting $3M in salary but would get 100% of marketing of his image )

I'm just wondering if a MLB club would be able to arrange a similar deal ( with say Nike ) to compensate a player and possibly get around the luxury tax.

I know Bonds has some sort of unique arrangement where he controls more of the revenue he creates than any other player

jonnyc39
01-12-07, 10:53 AM
Not sure how it would work with a new contract, but A-Rod to Boston was nixed partially because Boston wanted to convert some of his salary to income received from endorsements.

SoCal Pinstriper
01-12-07, 11:04 AM
MLBPA would have nothing of it.

apolansk
01-12-07, 11:12 AM
MLBPA would have nothing of it.

Which is the reason Bonds can do it...IIRC he's not a member of the MLBPA

SoCal Pinstriper
01-12-07, 11:38 AM
Which is the reason Bonds can do it...IIRC he's not a member of the MLBPAI was not aware of that. What is preventing Barry from doing it is his lack of ability to attract endorsements.

Reggie Smith
01-12-07, 11:44 AM
Somewhere on this forum there was a link saying Bonds is in fact a member of the Union. I don't have the details on it, but know I read it.

This is an interesting concept. I've wondered if some players would take less dough, then know they can make it up on the side through endorsements. Always seemed like a win-in. I realize the Union would rather the player got the higher salary, AND the endorsements.....

Other major sports have more stringent rules in place, and MLS is still trying to break in so they can afford, to some degree, to do these outlandish things to attract the necessary attention. I for one hope it eventually works. I love the game, and have to feed my Jones by engrossing myself into the Premiership.

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-12-07, 11:55 AM
Which is the reason Bonds can do it...IIRC he's not a member of the MLBPA
He is a member of the mlbpa, he's just doesn't participate in the union's licensing arm.

Smithers
01-12-07, 11:57 AM
I was not aware of that. What is preventing Barry from doing it is his lack of ability to attract endorsements.

Well then bring on Kevin Millar!

gold23
01-12-07, 12:07 PM
He is a member of the mlbpa, he's just doesn't participate in the union's licensing arm.

This, I am pretty certain, is correct. The only MLB players NOT in the mlbpa are those who were replacement players in the strike year.

jonnyc39
01-12-07, 12:15 PM
This, I am pretty certain, is correct. The only MLB players NOT in the mlbpa are those who were replacement players in the strike year.Right.
From ESPN:

Players usually sign the group licensing agreement, which allows companies that obtain MLBPA licenses the right to use players' names and likenesses on their products. In exchange for their rights, the players get a percentage of the sale of the products such as trading cards and video games.

The signing of the agreement is usually a formality. In fact, Bonds will become the first union member in the 30-year history of the licensing program not to sign it, said Judy Heeter, director of business affairs and licensing for the MLBPA.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1661883

stephsamps
01-12-07, 12:44 PM
Somewhere on this forum there was a link saying Bonds is in fact a member of the Union. I don't have the details on it, but know I read it.

This is an interesting concept. I've wondered if some players would take less dough, then know they can make it up on the side through endorsements. Always seemed like a win-in. I realize the Union would rather the player got the higher salary, AND the endorsements.....

Other major sports have more stringent rules in place, and MLS is still trying to break in so they can afford, to some degree, to do these outlandish things to attract the necessary attention. I for one hope it eventually works. I love the game, and have to feed my Jones by engrossing myself into the Premiership.


I am not sure about this. My guess is the two guys with the most endorsement $$ in baseball are AROD and Jeter. They also are tops in salaries. I don't see why they would give up salary $$ to get endorsement deals when they can have both.

Reggie Smith
01-12-07, 01:54 PM
I am not sure about this. My guess is the two guys with the most endorsement $$ in baseball are AROD and Jeter. They also are tops in salaries. I don't see why they would give up salary $$ to get endorsement deals when they can have both.

Take a smaller salary in an effort to keep a teammate signed instead of letting them walk. I'm not saying I would personally do that, just wondering.

SoCal Pinstriper
01-12-07, 02:16 PM
This, I am pretty certain, is correct. The only MLB players NOT in the mlbpa are those who were replacement players in the strike year. Is there a list of who is left from that group? The only one I know of off-hand is Brendan Donelly.

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-12-07, 02:27 PM
Is there a list of who is left from that group? The only one I know of off-hand is Brendan Donelly.
This site has a list - Kevin Millar and Damian Millar are two. Cory Lidle was as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Dowd

GrouchoNYY
01-12-07, 02:33 PM
The big media centers would have even more financial power if endorsement laden deals were allowed. Even Beckham is bending it in LA not a backwater like Utah or Columbus.

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-12-07, 02:51 PM
The big media centers would have even more financial power if endorsement laden deals were allowed. Even Beckham is bending it in LA not a backwater like Utah or Columbus.
How so? Any player signing a contract now is choosing not just the dollars of the contract, but the dollars they think they can earn in endorsements wherever they go to play. I don't see how that's any different from Beckham's deal, other than that Beckham's endorsements were apparently worked out in conjunction with his contract with mls. But whether you try to roll it into one number or consider salary and endorsements separately, big markets offer greater endorsement opportunities than small markets. Players certainly consider that when signing contracts.

Smithers
01-12-07, 02:54 PM
This site has a list - Kevin Millar and Damian Millar are two. Cory Lidle was as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Dowd

typical internet. Search MLBPA and get nothing.

Search a video game. Bingo.

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-12-07, 03:05 PM
typical internet. Search MLBPA and get nothing.

Search a video game. Bingo.
Exactly. Who cares more about this stuff than gamers. ;)

TheYankee
01-12-07, 03:28 PM
This site has a list - Kevin Millar and Damian Millar are two. Cory Lidle was as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Dowd

My favorite part....

Ironically, in a February 14, 2006 N.Y. Times story, MLB announced a possible investigation into Bonds' history of steroid use as he approaches the all-time home-run mark. [1] (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/14/sports/baseball/14chass.html) The N.Y. Times story suggests that the ideal investigator for the inquiry would be aggressive Washington lawyer John M. Dowd (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_M._Dowd), whose investigation led to the banishment of Pete Rose from baseball for gambling.

I always thought that was hilarious because I knew Dowd was the investigator at the center of Rose's banishment.

GrouchoNYY
01-12-07, 04:52 PM
The big media centers would have even more financial power if endorsement laden deals were allowed. Even Beckham is bending it in LA not a backwater like Utah or Columbus.


Mr. Mxylsplk asks:
How so? Any player signing a contract now is choosing not just the dollars of the contract, but the dollars they think they can earn in endorsements wherever they go to play. I don't see how that's any different from Beckham's deal, other than that Beckham's endorsements were apparently worked out in conjunction with his contract with mls. But whether you try to roll it into one number or consider salary and endorsements separately, big markets offer greater endorsement opportunities than small markets. Players certainly consider that when signing contracts

The endorsement deals, in, let's say NY, (Madison Ave.?) are greater than in Kansas City. The team can work with the player to get extra money. Could Tiki Barber get the deal he's had anywhere else but NY or LA? Would Derek Jeter get the same exposure in Tampa? Can other venues afford the same perks. By quantifying a deal like Beckham, you are limiting smaller markets. With salary only, team revenues are what counts. Add locally posssible revenues as a guarantee, it just makes the strong stronger.

ace
01-12-07, 06:58 PM
In MLB2K6, Bonds' name, Joe Young, is a salute to San Francisco QBs Joe Montana and Steve Young.

nnysiny
01-12-07, 07:13 PM
My favorite part....

Ironically, in a February 14, 2006 N.Y. Times story, MLB announced a possible investigation into Bonds' history of steroid use as he approaches the all-time home-run mark. [1] (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/14/sports/baseball/14chass.html) The N.Y. Times story suggests that the ideal investigator for the inquiry would be aggressive Washington lawyer John M. Dowd (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_M._Dowd), whose investigation led to the banishment of Pete Rose from baseball for gambling.

I always thought that was hilarious because I knew Dowd was the investigator at the center of Rose's banishment.

wow, i thought that name was made up from MVP05

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-12-07, 08:19 PM
The endorsement deals, in, let's say NY, (Madison Ave.?) are greater than in Kansas City. The team can work with the player to get extra money. Could Tiki Barber get the deal he's had anywhere else but NY or LA? Would Derek Jeter get the same exposure in Tampa? Can other venues afford the same perks. By quantifying a deal like Beckham, you are limiting smaller markets. With salary only, team revenues are what counts. Add locally posssible revenues as a guarantee, it just makes the strong stronger.
I'm still not following you. This post seems to support mine. Jeter and Barber get the benefits of the larger market they play in. Nothing has to be quantified the way it has been for Beckham. I don't understand what you mean by salary only. Top players don't earn salary only, they earn salary and endorsements. Whether you express the total amount as one single number or two separate pieces, the guy's still making both salary and endorsement. I don't see how it makes the strong any stronger when all you're doing is expressing things differently.

Lobel's shot glass
01-12-07, 09:17 PM
What happens if your endorsement deals suddenly dry up or get cancelled, like if your caught in a scandal? I'm sure advertisers can pull out of such contracts pretty quickly if needed. I'd rather have the baseball contract guaranteeing the money I think.

Jersey Yankee
01-13-07, 03:21 AM
Which is the reason Bonds can do it...IIRC he's not a member of the MLBPA
How in the world could someone play baseball professionally and not be a member of the union?

For the MLBPA not having anything to do with this, if it were for the money given Beckham, it would surely spark their interest. They'd be fools not to do this if the price were right.

just-blaze
01-13-07, 03:36 AM
To the original question, soccer is in desperate need of a push, the best soccer players are from other countries, and even so it seems as though baseball owners are a different breed from soccer owners.

I personally think its overpay (by 100X) but I think its along the lines that MLS should be pushing.

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-13-07, 10:59 AM
What happens if your endorsement deals suddenly dry up or get cancelled, like if your caught in a scandal? I'm sure advertisers can pull out of such contracts pretty quickly if needed. I'd rather have the baseball contract guaranteeing the money I think.
I'm not following you either. Beckham's endorsement contracts are separate from his soccer contract just as Jeter's endorsements are separate from his baseball contract. He faces the same risk of losing his endorsements as any other athlete does.

Jersey Yankee
01-14-07, 01:20 PM
I'm not following you either. Beckham's endorsement contracts are separate from his soccer contract just as Jeter's endorsements are separate from his baseball contract. He faces the same risk of losing his endorsements as any other athlete does.
When someone is given a $250 mil, 5-yr deal, I think that when that includes endorsement deals, then I also would have to ask if the deals are guaranteed, barring some kind of scandal, as was mentioned in the post you'd replied to.

Are those endorsement deals guaranteed? I remember seeing specific advertisers, but have they all committed to that amount for the full 5 years?

I also agree with another forumer here that there's no way the MLB union would allow their players to sign something that's not guaranteed. Such a precedent would force deals of much lesser value to be OK'd.

gold23
01-14-07, 01:42 PM
When someone is given a $250 mil, 5-yr deal, I think that when that includes endorsement deals, then I also would have to ask if the deals are guaranteed, barring some kind of scandal, as was mentioned in the post you'd replied to.

Are those endorsement deals guaranteed? I remember seeing specific advertisers, but have they all committed to that amount for the full 5 years?

I also agree with another forumer here that there's no way the MLB union would allow their players to sign something that's not guaranteed. Such a precedent would force deals of much lesser value to be OK'd.

No, a player would not sign something that is not guaranteed. I imagine someone who isn't in the union could, but unless you cross a picket line you are in the union (and absolutely WANT to be).

There is a standard player contract. The language within that contract has been agreed to in collective bargaining. It constitutes the salary and length of the contract (among other items that have been agreed to with regard to language and terms), and unless both the commissioner's office and union OK any changes, it is kept the same. Then you have addendums to the contracts that lay out any differences- options, incentives, special needs or requests, etc. But a contract that is not guaranteed would not receive the approval of the union- and thus not be valid.

JavyVazquezIsSick
01-14-07, 01:51 PM
Because people actually like baseball...

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-14-07, 06:51 PM
When someone is given a $250 mil, 5-yr deal, I think that when that includes endorsement deals, then I also would have to ask if the deals are guaranteed, barring some kind of scandal, as was mentioned in the post you'd replied to. Are those endorsement deals guaranteed? I remember seeing specific advertisers, but have they all committed to that amount for the full 5 years?

There's been no specific breakdown of his various endorsement deals, so it's impossible to know. It's certainly possible his endorsement deals have been locked in for the full length of his mls contract, but there's no particular reason to think a sponsor would do that. ESPN has reported however that $250M is basically a made-up number, based on endorsements, and possibly even TV deals, Beckham is expected to get, but hasn't necessarily inked yet.

Reggie Smith
01-15-07, 11:31 AM
You also have to remember that MLS is run different than most pro leagues. At one point, I believe Mr. Hunt (KC Chiefs) owned a couple of teams himself. The league has never been as capitalist as the other leagues, as if it did it would've been done in a few years. They are very protective of the costs and revenues.

MLS has endorsement contracts with Adidas, Nike, Reebok, etc. Some of this money will come from the coffers that are used to promote Adidas, specifically, to MLS.

I personally have never particularly cared for Beckham. However, he's a draw and this can only be a positive. His technical ability is just 'meh' at this stage, but he's pretty and in LA. I imagine he'll be in a movie soon enough.....

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-15-07, 04:59 PM
I personally have never particularly cared for Beckham. However, he's a draw and this can only be a positive. His technical ability is just 'meh' at this stage, but he's pretty and in LA. I imagine he'll be in a movie soon enough.....
Yeah, there's no question that his looks and image (and that of his wife), are as much a part of his appeal, if not more, than his skills at this point in his career. But at least he's coming over at a younger age than all those guys on the Cosmos back in the 70's. He's past his prime but not truly over the hill.

Reggie Smith
01-15-07, 06:13 PM
Yeah, there's no question that his looks and image (and that of his wife), are as much a part of his appeal, if not more, than his skills at this point in his career. But at least he's coming over at a younger age than all those guys on the Cosmos back in the 70's. He's past his prime but not truly over the hill.

Agreed, and hopefully more will follow. You have to start somewhere.

Reggie Smith
01-17-07, 01:48 PM
FWIW, reading now that the contract is actually a $50mil over five years. NOT $50mil per year. Big difference.

jimmyclark
01-24-07, 09:41 AM
Back in 1979 when Pete Rose signed with the Phillies it was reported the local TV station kicked in some money to make it possible, figuring they would get higher ratings.
A few years ago someone asked Mike Francesa on WFAN if a big market team could get around a salary cap by figuring free agents would get endorsement money. Francesa said no, there were only a limited amounted of dollars available in each market. Only a couple guys on each team would get endorsements.

jughead
01-25-07, 09:13 AM
FWIW, reading now that the contract is actually a $50mil over five years. NOT $50mil per year. Big difference.You read it wrong, then.

Mr. Mxylsplk
01-25-07, 09:41 AM
You read it wrong, then.
In what way?

iodon
01-25-07, 09:46 AM
Back in 1979 when Pete Rose signed with the Phillies it was reported the local TV station kicked in some money to make it possible, figuring they would get higher ratings.
A few years ago someone asked Mike Francesa on WFAN if a big market team could get around a salary cap by figuring free agents would get endorsement money. Francesa said no, there were only a limited amounted of dollars available in each market. Only a couple guys on each team would get endorsements.

I have often wondered if the Yanks could get around the cap in this way. Pay a new player 1 mil per year from the Yanks to play Ball and 10 mil per year to do commercials on YES. I'm sure there is language to prevent this sort of thing, but I can't find it.

Reggie Smith
01-25-07, 11:24 AM
You read it wrong, then.

No, I didn't. With endorsements, it COULD reach up to $250 mil. It is NOT a $250 mil contract. But, I guess your name fits.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/grant_wahl/01/17/beckham.qa/index.html