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Fanatics, the online retailer of licensed sportswear, is suing Arizona Cardinals’ first-round pick, wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., for breach of contract. The lawsuit was filed in New York Supreme Court, alleging that Harrison refused to fulfill obligations from a contract he signed in May 2023. Details of the contract were redacted, but it was worth at least $1 million and included autographs, signed trading cards, game-worn apparel, and marketing opportunities. Fanatics claimed that Harrison received offers from other companies and demanded that they match or exceed them, but never provided proof of these competing offers.

Harrison’s relationship with Fanatics began during his time at Ohio State, where he signed a limited promotion and license agreement deal that ended just before the NFL Draft in April 2024. Fanatics approached him about a more substantial long-term deal in April 2023, with negotiations resulting in a binding term sheet signed in May 2023. Despite paying Harrison in August and October 2023, Fanatics claims he has refused to fulfill his obligations and has ignored all requests from the company. Harrison’s father, Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison Sr., requested a copy of the binding term sheet on behalf of his son in April 2024, but Fanatics claims the Harrisons have denied the existence of a deal.

In addition to the lawsuit against Harrison, Fanatics is also targeting “The Official Harrison Collection LLC,” which has been selling signed memorabilia through a website with prices ranging from $99.99 to $549.99. The site claims to be the only place to purchase signed Harrison memorabilia and teases the release of Cardinals memorabilia in the future. Fanatics is seeking damages estimated to be in the millions of dollars and has requested a jury trial. Despite the legal battle with Fanatics, Harrison has not yet signed a group licensing agreement with the NFL Players Association, preventing Cardinals fans from ordering his jerseys.

Fanatics’ lawsuit against Harrison highlights the complexities and challenges of managing endorsement deals and licensing agreements in the sports industry. The case sheds light on the potential conflicts that can arise between athletes, agents, and companies over contractual obligations and competing offers. For Harrison, the lawsuit could impact his reputation and future earning potential, as well as his ability to market himself as a professional athlete. Meanwhile, Fanatics is taking legal action to protect its business interests and enforce the terms of the contract with Harrison, while also seeking compensation for any damages incurred as a result of his alleged breach of contract.

As the legal battle unfolds, it remains to be seen how the dispute between Fanatics and Harrison will be resolved and what impact it will have on both parties moving forward. The outcome of the lawsuit could have significant implications for the sports memorabilia market, as well as for the relationships between athletes, companies, and fans in the world of professional sports. In the meantime, Harrison has yet to comment publicly on the lawsuit, and fans are left to speculate about the future of his relationship with Fanatics and the Arizona Cardinals.

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