Contracts for Professional Sports

Making sure you are going to get enough



By Louis Roland

SKEMA Business School

Lille, France



“Why could I not become a professional soccer player?” How many kids, how many students or teenagers have already thought of that? It is the dream of plenty of people who are passionate about their sport and already live for it. Especially when you hear about the top players’ salaries. “Let’s become a professional player and earn a living doing what I love to do: playing soccer”. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it seems. Those top players represent the emerged part of the iceberg. Sports players who failed to be professional are much more plentiful. That is why making from your passion your own job is a tough career path. However, if you keep on working hard and you take the right decisions, it could be one the most lucrative job on earth. Neymar is currently earning the amount of 1 € per second, only with his salary (which doesn’t cover his sponsorship compensation and rewards). But people forget one thing. He is one of the best guys in his job! We are used to comparing us (and our wages) to them and to say, “he is paid too much, just to kick a ball around”. But Neymar is not a common guy, he is one of the best soccer players in the world and he is valuable.

Key words: Compensation, Contracts, Sports, Professional, Payment, Amateur


Professional sports contracts are quite similar than contracts in everyday life. Athletes are compensated for their services against a payment. We can differentiate 3 professional sports contracts. The professional services contracts, the endorsement contracts and the appearance contracts.

You are going to be introduced to how to deal with contracts if you want to start a professional career. We will discuss more particularly the compensation part of the contracts. This part is important to handle for 2 reasons. Firstly, it will formalize the way you will earn money. And then, this is one of the only parts of a professional contract which can differ from your teammates.


  • What are the different Professional Sports Contracts?
  • How can you earn a living by signing a Professional Sports Contract?
  • How to be sure to earn enough when moving amateur to professional?



The aim is to assure athletes that they understand the relevance of alternatives:

  1. The professional services contract
  2. The endorsement contract
  3. The appearance contract


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

About the Author

Louis Roland

SKEMA Business School
Lille, France



Louis Roland is a 5th-year student at ITEEM Centrale Lille. This engineering school has the particularity to give a triple competence to their students: engineer, manager, entrepreneur. Louis comes from Champagne-Ardennes area. He was born from a farmer father and a teacher mother in Reims. He used to play tennis and football since his early childhood and still plays and loves sports in general. Louis carried out his scholarship in Vouziers and Reims where he passed a scientific bachelor degree with honor in the Pensionnat du Sacré Coeur, a “Lasallian” establishment. He then chose to do ITEEM Centrale Lille to get a very wide profile as engineer-manager-entrepreneur. During his studies, he seized the opportunity to spend 8 months in Bangalore, India. He achieved an internship as a software developer there. A few months later, after having tasted an international experience he decides to catch up with his girlfriend in Australia. He lived with her in Sydney for 2 months. He found a job as a dishwasher in an ice-cream shop. Finally, he came back to France, to complete his final year in ITEEM Centrale Lille. Meanwhile, he decided to pass a Master in Project management at Skema where he wrote the article “Contracts for professional sports, making sure to get enough”.

Louis can be contacted at [email protected].