December 20, 2012
One of the biggest PGA tour golfers, Rory McIlroy, is facing a breach of contract lawsuit that was filed in California earlier this week.
Apparel company, Oakley, filed a lawsuit against the golfer for breaching his contract with the company. The lawsuit alleges that after Nike Golf offered a multi-million dollar deal to McIlroy, Oakley attempted to use their "right of first refusal" but the golfer ignored the offer and signed with Nike. Oakley claimed that signing with Nike was a clear breach of contract.
According to the lawsuit, Oakley claims that the company suffered "irreparable" damage after McIlroy did not renew his contract with the company. In the lawsuit, Oakley is requesting an injunction that would not allow McIlroy and Nike to complete their contract.
The company also claims monetary damages because they said they already spend $300,000 for products the golfer was supposed to wear in a photo shoot.
Oakley says that their original contract with the golfer includes a right of first refusal clause, which allows Oakley to match offers from other companies such as Nike. If Oakley decided to match another company's offer, McIlroy would have to continue his contract deal with the company in 2013.
The main issue that led to the lawsuit was after McIlroy and his agent did not respond to Oakley's offer regarding whether or not they would match Nike's offer. Experts and sports agents believe that this lawsuit will not end quickly or quietly. Many said they expect Nike to put up a fight to try and start a contract with McIlroy because they want him to start marketing their products on a major level.
Source: Yahoo! Sports, "Report: Oakley sues Rory McIlroy and Nike over breach of contract," Jonathan Wall, Dec. 17, 2012