ARod's 'marketable milestones' take away his rights

The Yankees brass has made its intentions known without having to show it off on their high-def scoreboard. When Alex Rodriguez hits home run No. 660 to tie Willie Mays for fourth all-time, their celebration will be tame. No red carpet. No champagne bottles. No commercials or special t-shirts. No, he will not get the “DJ3K” treatment.

Several outlets have reported how the Yankees are going to fight back against Arod’s special contract where he is supposed to receive what can be an extra $30 million for his milestone home runs – $6 million for each. Just don’t call them milestones. Seems the Yankees aren’t interested in that.

However, the New York Post story left me a bit baffled. According to their very special sources with knowledge of the situation, ARod would sign over his image rights and associated branding for $6 million a home run.

Really? Why?

I’m not thrown back by the Yankees wanting to keep the money in the battle over the contract. I’m more curious as to why ARod would give that up. Every business is different, which I understand. But in publishing – a field I enjoy studying – giving up rights is a huge red flag.

In this case, IF the Yankees pay the $6 million, does it mean ARod could never profit off his own achievements?

Let’s say, 10 years ago, when New York made this deal, they felt they had a clean enough player at the time to market. He’s handsome, has a nice smile. He’s a sound bite machine.

Six million (or eventually $30 million) doesn’t seem like a lot to give up – at the time – because they were going to make a lot more than that off his collectibles. We’re talking t-shirts, hats, jackets, bobbleheads, figurines, plaques, coins, ticket sales, and more.

There are a few concerns:

1. Perhaps ARod wanted a guarantee for his milestones since there was always the risk of getting caught using PEDs. 2. MLB Properties could certainly play a role in it. If ARod kept his image rights, he may not have gotten permission from MLBP to use team names and logos. Instead, he would just be ARod, the Home Run King from NY.

Still giving up that much has me perplexed. It’s $6 million a home run with out having to do more than your job (which is to hit home runs), but with the right marketing, I would have thought he could have made more money than that.