Sports

Fanatics sues Cardinals rookie Marvin Harrison Jr for breach of contract: report

Fanatics, the online retailer of licensed sportswear for many leagues including the NFL, is suing the Arizona Cardinals’ first-round pick, wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., for breach of contract.

The merchandise giant filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court on Saturday night, claiming Harrison, the first receiver taken off the draft board in April, refused to fulfill obligations from a contract he signed in May 2023, per ESPN. 

Fanatics also said Harrison “publicly asserted” that the contract didn’t exist.

Marvin Harrison Jr. poses

Marvin Harrison Jr. poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected fourth overall by the Arizona Cardinals during the first round of the NFL Draft at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza on April 25, 2024, in Detroit. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

While the details of Harrison’s contract were redacted, a source told ESPN earlier this month that his deal was worth “at least $1 million,” and it was for autographs, signed trading cards, game-worn apparel, and more marketing opportunities. 

But Fanatics claimed Harrison told them a “larger competitor” made an offer to him, and competing trading card companies made other offers as well. In turn, Harrison demanded Fanatics meet or exceed the other alleged offers on the table, though Fanatics claims the rookie never provided the competing offers. 

Fanatics says Harrison has “already begun negotiating competing agreements with other collectible or sports trading card companies.”

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Harrison and Fanatics’ relationship began during his time at Ohio State, where the company says he was one of “several top-tier student-athletes” whom they signed to multiyear agreements. According to the lawsuit, Harrison signed his limited promotion and license agreement deal in March 2023, and it ended in April 2024, just before the NFL Draft. 

However, Fanatics claims it approached Harrison about a “more substantive” long-term deal, with heavy negotiations coming in April 2023 and the two sides agreeing to a binding term sheet on May 16, 2023. It would be finalized two days later. 

Marvin Harrison Jr vs Minnesota

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. lines up for a play during the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Nov. 18, 2023, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. (Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Fanatics also claims that it paid Harrison in August and October 2023, though they say the receiver “has refused to fulfil his obligations” after requests from the company. They claim Harrison has “rejected or ignored every request.”

Harrison’s father, Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison Sr., represents his son as he doesn’t have an agent. The elder Harrison allegedly requested a copy of the binding term sheet for his son on April 23, 2024. Fanatics claims, after receiving the binding term sheet, that the Harrisons do not have a deal with them. 

Fanatics also cites “The Official Harrison Collection LLC” as a defendant in the lawsuit. Harrison has been selling signed memorabilia through the LLC’s website, with photos ranging from $99.99 to $149, a jersey for $299.99 and a helmet for $549.99. 

The site says it is “the ONLY website to purchase signed Harrison memorabilia,” and claims there is “Cardinals memorabilia coming soon.”

Fanatics estimates “millions of dollars” in damages and is requesting a jury trial.

Harrison didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Marvin Harrison Jr. poses

Marvin Harrison Jr. celebrates after being selected by the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL Draft on April 25, 2024, in Detroit. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Harrison has still yet to sign a group licensing agreement with the NFL Players Association, which would allow the players’ union to market his name, image and likeness to 85 companies they deal with. It’s why Cardinals fans have not been able to order jerseys for the Buckeyes product yet. 

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