Fanatics files lawsuit against Cardinals wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

TEMPE, Ariz. — Fanatics filed a lawsuit against Arizona Cardinals rookie Marvin Harrison in New York Supreme Court late Saturday, alleging breach of the wide receiver's May 2023 contract with the retailer.

Fanatics said in the lawsuit that Harrison refused to fulfill his obligations under the deal and that he also “publicly claimed” that the contract did not exist.

The details of what Harrison's contract with Fanatics requires of the fourth overall pick in the NFL draft, as well as details of the financial agreement between the two, were revised. However, a source told ESPN earlier this month that the deal is worth at least $1 million and includes autographs, signed trading cards, game apparel and other marketing opportunities.

The lawsuit also names Official Harrison Collection LLC as a defendant. Harrison is selling signed memorabilia through the official Harrison Collection website. Items include photos ranging in price from $99.99 to $149, a jersey for $299.99 and helmets for as much as $549.99. The website reads “Cardinals memorabilia coming soon” and says it is “the only site to purchase signed Harrison memorabilia.”

Fanatics claims in the lawsuit that Harrison told the retailer that a “larger competitor” had made him an offer, and that other trading card companies had also made “competing” offers. The lawsuit alleges Harrison “required” Fanatics to meet or exceed other alleged offers. However, the lawsuit also claims Harrison refused to make a competing offer to Fanatics.

Fanatics maintains in the lawsuit that Harrison “has begun negotiating competing agreements with other collectible or sports trading card companies.”

According to the lawsuit, the relationship between Fanatics and Harrison began in 2023, when Harrison, who was at Ohio State University, was one of “several top student-athletes, including many NFL prospects,” with whom Fanatics signed multi-year licensing agreements. In March 2023, Fanatics signed a non-exclusive limited promotional and licensing agreement with Harrison that ended in April 2024, prior to last month's NFL draft.

In the lawsuit, Fanatics claims that after recognizing Harrison's “potentially bright future and the limitations of promotional and licensing agreements,” it again approached Harrison for a longer-term “more substantive” agreement. The two sides began discussing a new agreement in April 2023, and the negotiations involved “substantial negotiation,” the lawsuit said. Harrison does not have an agent and is represented by his father, Hall of Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison Sr.

The terms of the agreement were modified in the lawsuit; however, the payment to Marvin Harrison Jr. was “substantial,” the suit said.

Fanatics said in the lawsuit that it made payments to Harrison in August and October 2023, but claimed Harrison “refused to meet its obligations” despite Fanatics' “multiple requests” over the past few months. The lawsuit alleges Harrison “rejected or ignored each request.”

Fanatics also claims in the lawsuit that Harrison disclosed confidential information about his contract to ESPN.

The lawsuit alleges that on April 23, 2024, Marvin Harrison Sr. asked Fanatics to provide his son with a copy of the binding term sheet. After Harrison Sr. received it, he told the company that the Harrison family had no agreement with Fanatics, the lawsuit says.

Fanatics hopes the lawsuit will force Marvin Harrison Jr. to fulfill his obligations and require a jury trial, with damages expected to reach “millions of dollars,” according to the lawsuit.

Harrison has not signed the NFL Players Association's group licensing agreement, which allows the league to market his name, image and likeness to 85 companies.

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