Sports Law • Risk Management

October 30, 2010: Protecting Superstars from Negative Headlines: Athlete Risk Management

The Brett Favre investigation of his explicit text messages has garnered a lot of attention. The NFL is conducting an investigation into whether Favre broke league rules regarding workplace conduct. It wasn’t long ago that Tiger Woods’ antics created a news sensation, which also drew attention away from his golf talent and into his private, shall I say, bedroom affairs. These amazing athletes are just two of a constant string of alleged inappropriate behavior by our sports heroes that are brought to our attention on almost a daily basis.

I wonder what the opportunity cost is of such bad press? How much money in sponsorship is lost because of such behavior? How much are promising sports careers shortened? How much money is lost because of fines or violations of contract provisions? Wouldn’t it be reasonable for sports agents, managers, teams, leagues, tours, coaches and athletes to consider the management of bad behavior risks?

Considering the high cost, it would make sense to spend the money for training and coaching to manage such risks. I suggest that athletes be given risk management training so that they can be advised early in their careers of the dangers of potential bad behavior and its potential negative impact on their lives. Athletes should receive this training and reminders so that they are constantly aware of the consequences of their actions. With careful attention to individual athlete risk management, the great athletes can focus more on their game and less on the negative headlines. Nohr Sports Risk Management is available to provide risk management training to athletes.