Julian Wilson Just Pulled The Hurley Stickers Off His Board And Is Reportedly In A Dispute With Their Legal Team
Hurley is reportedly withholding a total of $1.5M USD from the former world-runner-up.
This just in: Julian Wilson no longer rides for Hurley…and he’s pursuing legal actions against them.
A day ago, the former world runner-up posted an image of his surfboard laid up with all the regular stickers except one: the inverse parentheses on the nose.
We were curious if this meant Julian was officially off the Hurley team, or if it was just an accidental tip-slip. So we did a little digging, hit a minor setback, then got distracted on Instagram and waited for some real journalists to report on it.
This from Sportico:
Wilson, currently ranked No. 11 by the World Surf League, recently filed a complaint in the state of California against one of his long-time sponsors, Hurley. Wilson alleges that the surf apparel and accessories manufacturer refuses to pay him at least $1.5 million, which it “indisputably owes under a written endorsement agreement” in an attempt to “profit from the worldwide health pandemic,” according to the complaint obtained by Sportico.
Hurley claims Wilson breached his contract because he hasn’t participated in surf contests this year because of COVID-19—touching on a concern many sponsored athletes share as competitions across all sports have been put on pause amid the pandemic. Competition requirements or quotas are common in endorsement contracts like Wilson’s, which he signed with Hurley in 2014, but they may be almost impossible to meet during this unprecedented year—a point raised by Wilson’s legal team in his complaint.
Hurley agreed to pay Wilson $1.5 million (an amount that could be reduced if Wilson failed to compete in at least five tournaments) annually plus certain performance-based bonuses and product royalties. According to the complaint, Hurley refuses to pay any of it.
But do they have a legal loophole?
The legal issue, therefore, centers on whether, and how, the pandemic alters the contractual relationship. From a literal standpoint, the contract permits for termination “for any reason” relating to ceasing to compete. Hurley could argue that the company therefore had sufficient grounds to terminate the contract given that Wilson has not competed this year. “Any reason,” theoretically could include not competing in a tournament that was canceled due to a global infectious disease outbreak.
Read the rest here, it’s rather informative.
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