Fanatics Sues Arizona Cardinals Rookie Marvin Harrison Jr. for Breach of Contract

Sam Hodde/Getty Images via Sportico Photo Source: Sam Hodde/Getty Images via Sportico

Fanatics, a prominent sports apparel and collectibles company, has initiated legal action against Arizona Cardinals rookie wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. for allegedly breaching a contract signed in May 2023. The lawsuit, filed in the New York Supreme Court, claims Harrison failed to meet his contractual obligations and later denied the existence of the agreement.

The relationship between Harrison and Fanatics began in 2023, during Harrison's tenure at Ohio State University. Noticing his potential as a future NFL star, Fanatics entered into a multiyear licensing agreement with Harrison, which included a limited promotion and license arrangement set to conclude in April 2024. This initial contract was non-exclusive, providing both parties the flexibility to explore further opportunities.

In May 2023, after “extensive negotiations” facilitated by Harrison's father, Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison Sr., a more comprehensive and long-term agreement was reached. The binding term sheet was finalized and signed by Harrison on May 16, 2023, with Fanatics representatives signing a couple days later. Although specific details of the agreement are redacted, the lawsuit describes Harrison’s compensation as substantial.

According to the 17-page complaint, Fanatics claims that despite fulfilling their financial commitments by making payments in August and October 2023, Harrison did not honor his side of the contract. The company alleges that Harrison ignored multiple requests to fulfill his contractual duties. Furthermore, Harrison allegedly publicly denied the existence of the agreement, complicating matters further.

Fanatics also asserts that Harrison sought to leverage competing offers from other trading card companies to demand better terms from Fanatics. When Fanatics requested proof of these “competing” offers, Harrison reportedly refused to provide any. Additionally, the lawsuit accuses Harrison or his representatives of providing sensitive information about the contract to ESPN in an effort to “mislead the public.”

As the NFL Draft approached, Marvin Harrison Sr. requested a copy of the binding term sheet from Fanatics in April 2024. Despite receiving the document and attempting to engage in further discussions, Fanatics was informed that Harrison denied having any deal with them. Subsequent attempts by Fanatics to resolve the issue were unsuccessful, prompting the company to seek legal recourse.

Fanatics has requested a jury trial, with estimated damages potentially reaching “millions of dollars.”

Selena Richards
Selena Richards
Selena earned her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Brandman University, laying the foundation for her interest in and understanding of human behavior. She works full-time at Law Commentary and is dedicated to merging her passion for pop culture with legal insights. Combining her analytical skills and interest in staying updated on trends, she strives to deliver pop culture legal news, bridging the gap between law and contemporary society.
Legal Blogs (Sponsored)