Representing sports stars can be a lucrative business. If a player on top of his game, numerous teams may express interest in hiring the player, and a contract can be in the millions of dollars. Some companies that represent sports figures have been in the business for years, while others are fresh collaborations between people who are interested in getting into the business. New businesses can be spectacular when they successfully combine the talents of their founders, but they are at risk of contract disputes when personalities fail to mesh.
A Miami businessman, David Sugarman, recently filed a lawsuit against his former partner, Ronnie Chalmers. The two had gone into business to recruit and act as agents for sports figures. Chalmers presumably had connections to sports figures in light of the fact that his son plays guard for the Miami Heat. However, their relationship fell apart resulting in a bitter dispute. For instance, Sugarman is alleging that Chalmers breached the parties’ contract when he reached out to possible recruits after he stopped working with Sugarman. Sugarman further alleges that Chalmers owes him close to $20,000 and spoke poorly of him to possible clients.
During the litigation the Florida court will review the terms of the agreement and the facts to determine whether Sugarman has valid claims against Chalmers. When business partners fail to see eye to eye, it is best for each side to consult with legal counsel to determine the best way to resolve the conflict. An experienced attorney can recommend various possibilities, including strongly worded letters, mediation, or commercial litigation.
Source: South Florida Business Journal, “Mario Chalmers’ dad sued over defamation, contract allegations,” Paul Brinkmann, May 24, 2013