Oakley to sue Rory over Nike deal?

World No.1 in breach of contract, claims eyewear firm

Mon, 17 Dec 2012
Oakley to sue Rory over Nike deal?

According to a report from ESPN.com, Oakley is allegedly sueing Rory McIlroy and Nike, claiming the World No.1 breached his contract when he signed a new endorsement deal with Nike.

A lawsuit apparently filed a week ago in federal court in California says Oakley tried to use its right of first refusal to match the Nike offer, but McIlroy and his agent Conor Ridge ignored the counter offer - thereby breaching the Oakley-McIlroy contract.

Oakley claims in its lawsuit that its contractual rights for McIlroy's endorsements of its eyewear and performance apparel would be 30% of the Nike package. If reports of a $200million deal with Nike are accurate, then Oakley offered about $60 million to continue its deal with McIlroy.

According to Oakley, the damage that has resulted from McIlroy's refusal to renew with Oakley is “irreparable” and entitles Oakley to an injunction that would stop Nike and McIlroy from concluding or implementing their contract.

Oakley is also claiming money damages but does not specify any amount and asserts that it has spent $300,000 on a photo shoot for the products McIlroy would have endorsed in 2013.

While McIlroy's impending megadeal with Nike has been widely discussed in the media, neither McIlroy nor Nike has confirmed the deal. In addition to Oakley, McIlroy is under contract to Titleist until the end of the year.

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