Mark, I think what he means is that in some cases if you want to have the opportunity to shoot the entire league, (being their official photographer) that you must kick back money or trophies or uniforms to get the contract.

When I was in LA shooting model, actor and commercial composite photographs for agents, I had to kick back.

Essentially what happened was, the agent would bullshit people into thinking that they could be a TV actor, or actor in commercails etc and tell them they needed headshots, or composites done. Then they gave the poor schmuch a list of photographers and they chose one. The photographer had to kick back to the agent a certain amount of money. This padded the income of the agent, so it was in their interest to try to sign up as many victims as possible, even if they had no chance at being an actor. Sleazy.

The problem is once this kickback thing starts it is almost impossible to stop it. There are always photographers who will undercut you and agree to kick back to someone to get the job.

Michael McBlane