Join Date: Oct 2012
Total Points: 3,017,000,097,531.01
Can anyone who thinks the offer was legit address the points this dude makes about the contract in the Steve Kim article?
I would not sign this in a million years. It is a trap. There is no way for Top Rank to ensure that it will ever get paid. Golden Boy, for example, could declare that Top Rank has breached the agreement in some way or that Top Rank owes them money due to some past legal dispute and simply not pay them. Then Top Rank would be left holding the bag and be forced to pay Donaire while suing Golden Boy for the money that Top Rank is owed.
When we promote fights like this, with such big numbers involved, we agree that the TV network, for example, will direct deposit the money owed to us into our account after the fight. Or we agree to have the promoter put the money up ahead of time in an escrow account or a letter of credit. In that case, payment is protected.
I would not sign this and there isn’t a competent attorney on Earth who would direct their client to make a deal like this. You always have to find a mechanism to guarantee payment. You don’t sign a piece of paper, put yourself on the hook for millions of dollars owed to your fighter and then hope that your mortal enemy will pay you when the fight is over!
The lack of any kind of payment guarantee jumps out at me so fast that I can’t even focus on the rest of this! Ridiculous!
One other note, there is no reason in the world for Top Rank to have to show a copy of their contract with Donaire to GB. TR would have to file it with the commission at some point. It varies from state to state whether or not this becomes public record. Again, GB is just trying to get a look at Donaire’s deal. I can’t believe they think that Arum would be stupid enough to fall for all this. I assure you, he is not.”
And here are some specifics that were then later explained to me:
1. There is no date, venue, television network or sponsors named in this contract, except that it will be no later than June 30 and in the United States. GB would have sole control of this promotion in every respect. Our promotional contracts with our own fighters are not that restrictive.
2. There is no payment guarantee. TR will be on the hook for paying Donaire even if GB never pays them.
3. The “in association with” billing seems like a nice gesture but TR has its own sponsors and that might actually violate their agreements with those sponsors, especially because the language in that clause makes it clear that GB’s sponsors will share in the billing. Golden Boy, having its own sponsor deals, should know that.
4. Credentials: Why would TR only be entitled to a “reasonable number” of credentials when other credentials and travel details are so thoroughly laid out? This is one example of how they are setting a trap for TR - details regarding the fighter’s needs are spelled out but the promoters’ are vague and left to GB’s “reasonable” determinations. Even, interestingly, in the preceding paragraph, the 20 tickets are “for use by Donaire” - one could argue that if TR used the tickets, they technically violated the agreement, which brings us back to the payment clause that denies payment for any breach by TR (usually financial penalties are limited to a “material” breach).
5. Sanctioning: Although the recitals state that this will be a world championship bout, there is no indication which alphabet sanctioning body - if any - would be involved. I haven’t looked into it but my first thought is that this choice could result in Donaire having to forfeit his belt. Additionally, in championship contests, all promoters usually have some say in the selection of judges. There is no provision for that in this agreement.
6. Site/Broadcaster: It is not unusual to include in bout agreements or POS that the fighters will comply with the requirements of the site/broadcaster. In this case, I would object to that. Showtime is in GB’s pocket, there is no telling what their “requirements” might be and no limiting language that would prevent them from doing anything non-standard.
7. Walk Out Music Licensed by TR: I’ve never seen a clause like this before. It’s just weird. GB might require that TR either have the rights to the music OR choose music covered by GB’s or the site’s music license.
8. Medical examinations for non-appearance insurance: GB can require that TR/Donaire comply with all requirements of the insurance company but I’m not sure why GB should be entitled to see medical records.
9. Footage of Donaire: This requires TR to give GB “reasonable excerpts from all footage” of Donaire that TR owns for use in publicity and promotion of the fight and all of the Ancillary Rights. First, that’s an awfully broad request. Second, the Ancillary Rights are quite expansive and continue in perpetuity, including merchandising and licensing footage in the future forever. I would never grant those kinds of rights to our footage. Essentially, GB would be entitled to post clips of every Donaire fight TR owns the rights to (at whatever duration they feel is reasonable) on their website to “promote Mares” or “encourage merchandise sales” or “make something up and put it in quotations.”
10. Postponement: The original “final date” for the bout is June 30th. However, GB can postpone that date for ninety days “for any reason whatsoever.” TR and Donaire can “reasonably” agree or not with the proposed rescheduling but not the postponement itself. In combination with the “No Interim Bout” clause and the cancellation provisions, GB can keep Donaire on the shelf until the end of September and incur no financial liabilities to TR or Donaire whatsoever.
11. The “Integrity” Clause: At no time, would I ever put Golden Boy or Showtime in the position of determining (conclusively) whether (our company) or its fighter violated such a clause. There is a place for this kind of condition but in a case like this, I’d insist on an arbitrator. There are times when the television network will suffice but this isn’t one of them.
12. Confidentiality - GB has already violated this clause. Of course, it was not binding on them because TR didn’t sign but still. That also brings me to the point that it is possible that Donaire has a multi-fight deal with HBO that this agreement would violate. He and TR may be bound by confidentiality not to reveal it publicly.
13. Assignment: This clause raises a red flag for me. It’s not odd that GB would want to be able to assign portions of this agreement - for instance, they’d need to be able to assign certain rights to TV networks. It is odd that it specifies that TR can’t assign it because Donaire’s services are personal and of the essence. First, if TR wanted to assign their right of payment, they should certainly be able to do that. They could also assign their obligations. This is a provision of services agreement for the services of Nonito Donaire. Anyone who has the right to Donaire’s services can fulfill the obligations under this contract. What’s interesting is that it does not make a similar provision for the services of Mares. I don’t think anyone could successfully argue that GB could switch out opponents but it strikes me as VERY odd.