Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus is being sued by Nicklaus Corporations, which says it paid the 18-time principal champion $145 million in Would possibly 2007 for distinctive rights to his golf course design corporations and promoting, promotional and branding rights in Would possibly 2007.
The lawsuit alleges tortious interference, breach of contract and breach of judiciary obligation in the direction of Nicklaus and his agency GBI Merchants. The grievance alleges that Nicklaus, 82, has diverted alternate options away from Nicklaus Corporations for his non-public revenue.
Throughout the lawsuit, filed in New York state courtroom docket on Would possibly 13, Nicklaus is accused of taking part in “repeated acts in harmful faith in the direction of the simplest pursuits of the Agency, along with acts to intentionally and maliciously undermine the company.”
“This wrongful conduct by Mr. Nicklaus has been inflicting substantial hurt to the Agency, along with by means of aspect affords for endorsement corporations and unauthorized makes use of of the Nicklaus [intellectual property] that had been in derogation of Nicklaus Corporations’ rights, devaluing the mannequin and inflicting financial damages to the Agency,” the lawsuit said.
The Morning Study/SI.com first reported particulars of the lawsuit.
Nicklaus Corporations said it has repeatedly requested Nicklaus to stop the conduct and despatched him a cease-and-desist letter. The grievance says Nicklaus abruptly resigned as an officer and director of Nicklaus Corporations on Would possibly 3 and said he wouldn’t accept initiatives from the company.
Nicklaus Corporations is managed by New York banker Howard Milstein, who moreover has curiosity inside the agency that operates Golf Journal and Golf.com.
“Mr. Nicklaus is now threatening not solely to proceed this wrongful conduct, however along with develop it, by asserting that he has the right to supply golf course design corporations and enterprise endorsements — the core corporations supplied to the Agency in 2007 — for his distinctive revenue with out the involvement of the Agency,” the lawsuit said.
“Amazingly, even if the Agency — which Mr. Nicklaus agreed to faithfully serve — has already paid him and GBI a substantial sum of money for distinctive rights to his golf course design corporations and enterprise endorsements, Mr. Nicklaus has decided to unilaterally — and wrongfully — declare he is reclaiming possession of those rights.”
Amongst totally different alleged violations inside the lawsuit, Nicklaus Corporations accused Nicklaus of improperly negotiating with officers of Golf Saudi, whom the Golden Bear said offered him $100 million to be the face of a model new breakaway golf league that may rival the PGA Tour. Nicklaus said he rejected the Saudi provide twice.
“The negotiation by Mr. Nicklaus of a deal that may compensate him for publicly supporting a model new golf league would have been reverse to the rights assigned to Nicklaus Corporations, and would have been improper with out the Agency’s being educated and consenting to the enterprise relationship,” the lawsuit said. “Such a deal, with Mr. Nicklaus being paid to endorse a rival of the PGA Tour, moreover might need resulted in antagonistic publicity, notably given Mr. Nicklaus’s widespread recognition as one in every of many three founders of the stylish PGA Tour.”
In an announcement, Nicklaus denied the allegations inside the lawsuit.
“The claims made by Howard Milstein are untrue,” Nicklaus said inside the assertion. “Our relationship has been a troublesome one, at best. I’ve little doubt regarding the finish end result, nevertheless I don’t intend to make this a public spectacle, if it might be averted.”