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Fanatics sues Marvin Harrison Jr. for breach of contract in 2023

Fanatics sues Marvin Harrison Jr. for breach of contract in 2023

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Fanatics filed a lawsuit Saturday against Arizona Cardinals rookie receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. for breach of contract with the sports apparel and collectibles company effective May 2023.

In the 17-page lawsuit filed in and awarded by the New York Supreme Court The athleteFanatics said Harrison had not fulfilled his contractual obligations and the receiver later said a deal with the company did not exist. The fanatics demanded a jury trial and estimated the potential damages at “millions of dollars.”

According to the complaint, the Fanatics reached a multi-year deal with Harrison in 2023 while he was in college at Ohio State. Initially, the Fanatics entered into a limited merchandising and licensing agreement with Harrison that was non-exclusive and set to expire in April 2024, just prior to the NFL Draft.

Recognizing Harrison’s potential, the Fanatics began talks for a longer deal with Harrison, who was represented by his father, Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison, Sr. According to court documents, after “extensive negotiations” the parties finalized a binding term sheet on May 16, 2023. Harrison signed the agreement that day and Fanatics representatives signed it two days later. Details of the agreement were redacted, but the lawsuit described Harrison’s compensation as “substantial.” Details of Harrison’s obligations under the agreement have also been redacted.

According to the lawsuit, the Fanatics paid Harrison money in August and October 2023, but he did not fulfill his contractual obligations. Fanatics said that Harrison ignored or rejected the company’s attempts to get him to do so and that the recipient later publicly rejected having an agreement with Fanatics.

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According to the complaint, Harrison asserted that other trading card companies made competing offers to him and demanded that Fanatics meet or exceed those offers. When fanatics asked to see competing shows, Harrison declined. Fanatics also said in the lawsuit that Harrison or his representatives disclosed confidential information about the agreement to ESPN in an attempt to “mislead the public.”

On April 23, days before the NFL Draft, the Fanatics said Marvin Harrison Sr. requested a copy of the binding term sheet from the Fanatics on behalf of his son. According to the lawsuit, when the fanatics presented it and asked to have a conversation, Marvin Harrison Sr. told the company they didn’t have a deal. The fanatics said that further attempts to reach a solution failed.

After an impressive career at Ohio State, Harrison was considered one of the best wide receivers to enter the NFL draft in years. The Cardinals selected him with the No. 4 pick, beginning what many expect to be a successful professional career. However, Harrison has not yet signed the NFL Players Association Collective Licensing Agreement, which would allow the union to market his name, image and likeness.

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(Photo: Adam Kearns/USA Today)