When contracting and trade deals come down to the deadline, it is the team’s back-office admin staff who have to suffer. Deals typically come down to the wire as a negotiation tactic between agent and club, or club to club, in an effort to get the best deal possible. This puts stress on the club’s admin staff to get deals verified by the league, make sure they fit in the team’s budget and have the necessary information to get the athlete on to the field. If you would like to see a real-world depiction of this back-office scramble, it is portrayed incredibly well in the Netflix docuseries “Sunderland ’Til I Die” episode 2.
There are many examples of Restricted Free Agents waiting to sign right until their deadline each season. An example that made headlines recently is the signing of William Nylander to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The window closed on December 1st, and if he didn’t sign he would miss the entire season. William Nylander waited until the last minute and signed his deal on December 1st with the Maple Leafs.
Though this last second negotiation tactic can be effective, it means that athletes can miss preseason games, training camps or the season altogether. Even after contracts are signed and approved, admin teams have to do a lot of leg work before the athlete can join practice or competition. Necessities like immigration, insurance, police clearance, etc., must be finalized, none of which are quick processes.
The Smart Athlete Manager — SAM is a secure platform where athletes’ can prepare their documents ahead of time so there are minimal delays after they sign their contract. They can even sign their contract digitally in their SAM profile from the comfort of their own device. The contract can then automatically validates its individual terms with the league rules and regulations with immutable timestamps. The stress is alleviated from admin staff as they no longer have to scramble as deadlines approach when there is an influx of contracts to collect and manage. The stress is also alleviated from the athlete as all the paperwork required by the team can be easily uploaded to their profile and can be kept in one place. As the single version of the contract exists in the team’s admin portal, and all team members who need access to the document can be invited to view the document.
While this might not necessarily discourage negotiation strategies, this can help bring transparency and ease to an organization after an athlete has been signed.
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