• Amobi Okugo

Why Athletes Need Agreements

Athletes are humans too. Sometimes we forget that athletes are humans and have the capability of making mistakes just like the rest of us. While that is true, with great rewards come great responsibility, and while you are human and you can make mistakes, as an athlete you are a role model, scapegoat, and hero all in one.

You can’t afford to make mistakes because someone is looking to take your spot or your throne or put you in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.

One thing an athlete can do to protect themselves from mistakes that in our opinion could be avoidable is hiring a lawyer to draft up a set of contracts that you can have on file when dealing with individuals. Here are some of the contracts that you should consider if you are an athlete or engaged in business.

NDA or Non-Disclosure Agreement

A non-disclosure agreement is a legally binding contract that protects the confidentiality of materials, knowledge and information between parties.

I can’t stress how important an NDA is for athletes in social interactions with people they don’t know that well. There have been many times where private information has been leaked to tabloids because information has been shared because people had ulterior motives. As an athlete, you don’t want to risk what you do in your free time to come back and haunt you where you make your money. An example of where an NDA can come in handy is you are having a private party for you and a couple of friends, and they invite some folks that you may not know. If you don’t want what happened at the party to get exposed, you can have a mandatory NDA signature stating that your privacy should be protected. Obviously, this isn’t meant for you to do anything bad or malicious but this provides a sense of security from people seeing you in a vulnerable space.

Mediation Agreement

This is an agreement that serves as a basis to handle possible scenarios when athletes are dealing with someone in how to go about solving a dispute. This gives clear understanding of the steps that will be taken, it’s better to be proactive than reactive especially in times of crisis or disputes. You take all emotion out of the equation by using your lawyer to have a mediation agreement in place.

Business Contract Agreement

You are an Athlete and a CEO. Treat yourself as such. Don’t waste your time going back and forth negotiating your value to who you may potentially be working with unless the deal is too sweet to pass up but even with that sentiment you need a starting point.


That’s why having a standard business contract that outlines your prices and what sort of services you provide can make a difference in your organization/ company. For example, say a company wants you as an athlete to speak to the company for a luncheon or something. You and the company agree to the speaking appearance but nothing is signed. You trusted that they would uphold their end of the bargain, now you want to collect on the agreed upon price but for whatever reason they only want to pay half now. If you had a business agreement, it’s no longer your word against theirs because you have it in writing.

If you need legal agreements or have found yourself in a bind for lack of one, start by consulting with Attorney Sivonnia DeBarros of the SL DeBarros Law Firm, LLC for a business consult to determine how best to assist you and get you back on track.

This article was written and provided as a courtesy of Amobi Okugo, a pro-soccer player and founder of A Frugal Athlete (AFA), an online media and consulting platform that promotes prudent financial practices and smart career decisions amongst professional and student athletes. AFA offers services like financial coaching, revenue generation, and ideation strategy. Visit their website for further information.

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