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Equipment contract: what types are there? What has to be regulated?

Many footballers have their own kit deal. They receive millions of sums from companies like adidas or Nike so that they can accumulate their products. Just like there are different brands of shoes, there are also different types of equipment contracts, which are presented below.

1st stage: shoe sponsorship

Many players at the performance level have their first contact with a potential sponsor in their youth. Companies such as adidas, Nike or Puma make the football boots available to young players free of charge. This agreement is often made without an extensive contract.

As long as a club does not have its own equipment contract and does not provide its players with shoes, such an agreement can be carried out without any problems. Above all, however, higher-class football clubs have sponsorship agreements with sporting goods manufacturers. In this case, it must first be discussed with the club's management whether the player may conclude an agreement with another manufacturer.

2nd stage: shoe and leisurewear sponsorship

When players perform well on the pitch, sponsors usually have a great interest in retaining the player in the brand over the long term. Although the players do not receive any money at this point in time, the manufacturer will provide the player with casual clothing free of charge in addition to shoes. For example, vouchers of around 2,000 to 3,000 euros are issued for the online shop.

The sponsor expects the players to wear their clothing in their free time. Footballers sponsored by adidas should therefore not wear Nike shoes outside of the pitch.

3rd level: Premium sponsorship

The most extensive equipment contract is the premium contract. Players like Marco Reus or Mario Götze receive - in addition to the aforementioned services - higher amounts in the millions from their individual sponsors. In return, the manufacturer expects them to take part in photo shoots, sponsor appointments or advertising measures. They serve as brand ambassadors.

The following questions should be regulated in an equipment contract:

  1. Who has to ensure that the equipment complies with the respective association rules? Does the soccer player have to inform the supplier of the respective rules?
  2. When and to what extent are the individual deliveries due? Who may have the right of determination under certain conditions. Often it is the soccer player. Then a framework with regard to the time and scope should be agreed in advance.
  3. The equipment contract can always be terminated for an important reason. In addition, the parties should list reasons that justify termination
  4. Do the delivered items become the property of the player or does he just become the owner?

The supplier can make claims on the player in the following cases:

    1. The player does not use the equipment to the extent desired.
    2. The player occasionally wears competing products.
    3. Violation of the duty of confidentiality vis-à-vis third parties with regard to defects that arise.

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