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Not An Expert
RE: Official Thread to Discuss Boris Berian's Contract
I was waffling between guessing $60,000 and $75,000 for his base--I can't remember which I actually guessed. I think I that Webb signed for $250k/year for 6 years out of Michigan (as the biggest HS distance star since Jim Ryun), and I assumed Berian (a nice underdog story, but a guy with a short track record, which increases the risk) was worth substantially less than half of that annually.

I also would've thought that the "big" bonuses would've been bigger, though--in the range of $250k-$500k for the top-level stuff (WR, Olympic Gold), and at or very near six figures for any second-tier accomplishments (any WC or Olympic medal, an AR, #1 worldwide ranking).

What balances that out, I guess, is that all of these major bonuses (and a few more minor ones) go into a "rollover" which will increase his base pay for the remainder of the contract (effectively doubling or tripling the amount of the bonus, bringing it more in line with what I expected).

Also, as relates to the contentious issue, I don't see how anyone could read this NB offer sheet and then think, "Oh, it implies a reduction clause." With how thorough it is on every level of how an athlete could earn more through bonuses or rollover base pay increases, if there were reduction clauses I would expect them to be equally thorough. I guess I could believe that Nike would think there would be reductions if it includes them in all of its final, long-form contracts but doesn't include them in their offer sheets.

As an athlete, though, if I saw an offer sheet that didn't include reduction clauses and a final, long-form contract based on that offer sheet that did include reduction clauses, I wouldn't feel like Nike had been negotiating in good faith (maybe this is why there is so much resentment of Nike among athletes). It sounds a lot like, based on what we've heard from Meb, Symmonds, and others, when Nike says reduction clauses are “standard in track and field endorsement contracts,” what they really mean is "standard in Nike track and field endorsement contracts, and we're too myopic to be able to see beyond that (or find it legally convenient to appear to be so)."

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