Athlete Product Endorsement as a False and Thereby Unreasonable Partial Restraint of Trade

Macquarie University School of Law
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Macquarie Journal of Business Law, 2012, 9 pp. 181 - 198
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A major economic driver of modern Australian sport is the endorsement of sponsors products by sporting organisations. As the dominant contracting party the major sporting organisations have restrained athletes from competing in the lucrative endorsement market. Endorsement restraints are usually partial in scope to leave, at least ostensibly, some portion of the market for athlete exploitation. Granting partial access to the market may be thought sufficient to ward off challenges of unreasonableness brought by athletes under the common law restraint of trade doctrine. This paper questions this view to argue that the partial restraints are largely illusory and thereby unreasonable.
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