World Wrestling gives McMahon a new contract…

November 19, 2010

We’re sure that it’s just a mere coincidence. But after spending $50 million for her unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate (which according to this article Linda McMahon has no regrets over), we found the timing of husband Vince McMahon’s new employment contract kind of amusing.

As best we can tell, McMahon has been working under the same employment agreement for the past 11 years. While there have been some amendments during that time — giving him access to the corporate jet in 2004 and making him pay for that access starting in 2006 as well as a modest raise along the way — the contract has remained largely unchanged from the IPO in 1999. General counsel types don’t usually let these sorts of things linger like this, especially when it comes to nailing down someone so closely associated with the company and its image.

McMahon’s new contract is for three years and pays him a salary of $1.1 million, which is only 10% higher than he was making in 1999. What makes the contract unusual — other than the timing — is some of the language that you don’t normally see in other executive level employment agreements. Take this, for example:

Any intellectual property rights, including but not limited to trademarks, service marks, copyrighted works, and/or distinctive and identifying indicia, including ring name, nickname, likeness, personality, character, caricatures, signature, props, gestures, routines, themes, incidents, dialogue, actions, gags, costumes or parts of costumes, accessories, crowns, inventions, championship, title or other belts (if applicable), and any other items of tangible or intangible property written, composed, submitted, added, improvised, created and/or used by or associated with the Executive’s performance in the business of professional wrestling, sports entertainment or other business in which the Company is now or hereafter engaged during the Employment Term or prior to the Employment Term (collectively the —Company Intellectual Property) shall belong to the Company, in perpetuity, with the Company retaining all such ownership rights

Anyone who’s part of a couple knows that it’s helpful if at least one family member has their employment situation squared away. Apparently, that’s true even for people as wealthy as the McMahons.

Image source: World Wrestling Entertainment

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