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Marketing Rights Holding Up Eli’s New Deal?

From Pro Football Talk:

We heard yesterday that the delay in the finalization of the nearly-nine-figure Eli Manning contract arose from issues between CAA, which handles Manning’s football negotiations, and IMG, which still represents him for marketing purposes.

We then were told by a source with knowledge of the situation that it’s not a CAA-IMG thing, but that the delay arises from “language” in the Manning-Giants contract.

So we’ve since picked up some more information that harmonizes the two competing nuggets.

Per a league source, the Giants hope to secure a right of first refusal on behalf of the franchise’s sponsors, which would give the sponsors a chance to pull Eli Manning within the scope of the advertising deals that the team has struck.

This issue last arose for a high-profile player in 2005, when a desire by the Browns generally to secure a right of first refusal for receiver Braylon Edwards’ marketing opportunities held up their efforts to ink Edwards to a rookie contract. (Eventually, the Browns relented.)

In Manning’s case, one potential conflict between his own marketing deals and the team’s sponsorship arrangements involves, of all things, watches. Manning is a spokesman for Citizen; the Giants have a deal with Timex.

So with CAA handling the football contract and the football contract potentially impacting the marketing rights represented by IMG, it’s a delicate situation — and for now it’s keeping the deal from getting done.

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One Response to “Marketing Rights Holding Up Eli’s New Deal?”

  1. Shane says:

    A team’s rights to a player begin and end on the football field. Unless the player’s sponsorship somehow tarnishes the image and therefore value of the franchise, then the team may have some say on the matter.

    Conflict of interest here should be looked at chronologically and Eli’s affiliation with Citizen should be “grandfathered”. Furthermore, he should have the right to cover or remove the timex patch from his uniform if he should choose to.

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