Sponsorship Celebrated Motocross Athlete Javier Villegas

By Keil Hackley

November 2005 – Sports & Activities Directory

A national sports entertainment company recently retained our law office to obtain work sponsorship for internationally celebrated freestyle motocross athlete Javier Villegas known within the motocross world as “Astroboy”. Sport entertainment companies looking into importing sports stars from abroad to perform in U.S. organized and sponsored events for an initial three-year period which can be extended in increments of one year are eligible to petition for an O-1 visa, a category reserved for luminaries possessing extraordinary ability in fields such as sports, movie entertainment, business, and science. The set statutory criteria in an athlete’s case concentrate on awards or trophies received, mass media exposure, distinguished organizations seeking out the athlete, original contributions, endorsements and advertisement deals, financial remuneration etc.

Mr. Villegas is the perfect candidate for this O-1 visa category, in that he has reached the very top of his field and has earned the respect and the admiration of his peers. His illustrious career has led him to the very top of the freestyle motocross world, having competed as part of the select elite in the most coveted international motocross events, such as The Red Bull X-Fighters Games, The Beyond Gravity Games and the X-Games. He is the number one freestyle motocross athlete in his native country Chile and has been a permanent presence in the international media since age 12. His brand endorsements include Oakley and Wrangler with national television channels vying him to serve as talk show host and sports commentator. The walls inside his home are lined with Championship titles and trophies and his international clout led to a two-week engagement at Disneyland in California demonstrating aerial stunts and tricks alongside fellow top freestyle athletes Kenny Bartram and Mike Metzger.

Companies specializing in sport entertainment have the opportunity through the filing of an O-1 petition to secure athletes such as Javier Villegas who add their particular flavor and thus highlight and intensify sports performances at scheduled events. The O-1 is visa is initially granted for a limited three-year period, in which the beneficiary exclusively works for the sponsor unless the petitioner acts as the athlete’s agent and as such draws up an itinerary of all the scheduled events under each respective employer. This visa can further serve as basis for an I-140 immigrant alien petition. In general, the O-1 category is popular within the sports world as it provides foreign talent in the form of athletes, performers, and production staff.