David Beckham and Greg Norman are suing fitness franchise F45 for over $20 million, claiming they entered into promotional agreements to help grow the brand, which failed to pay them “substantial cash and equity compensation.”
According to legal documents, obtained by The Blast, Beckham and Norman claim they signed on to promote F45, which was on its way to becoming one of the biggest brand’s in the fitness world. Obviously, the two athletes being the biggest in their respective sports, agreed to use their images and brands to grow the company.
As a part of the deal, the two stars struck a deal that would include yearly payments ($1.5 million for Beckham) and a percentage of the company’s stock. In the suit, the company representing the two stars, says F45 substantially benefited from its relationship with them, who “enhanced its public profile and credibility and helped roll out new fitness offerings for F45”. Because of their efforts, Beckham and Norman claim F45 went public in 2021 with a valuation nearly three times higher than it had two years earlier.
David Beckham Claims F45 Failed To Pay Him Millions In Stock & Cash
The lawsuit includes copies of action shots posted on Instagram by the soccer player, showing him in an F45 studio and working out. Also, he claims to have provided marketing and promotional services including public and private appearances, photo and video shoots, social media, and printed materials, for a period of 5 years. In 2021, F45 formally announced Beckham as a global partner, releasing images of him training at an F45 facility, and Beckham claims F45’s co-founder, Adam Gilchrist, even described the company’s affiliation with Beckham as “a monumental partnership.”
But, the star athletes claim after holding up their end of the bargain, F45’s business began to falter in 2022 due to “fiscal mismanagement and macroeconomic pressures” and F45 allegedly withheld millions of dollars in contractually obligated consideration to both Beckham and Norman.
Mark Wahlberg Buys Part Of F45, Brings In Beckham And Other Celebrities
Fun fact: In 2019, star actor Mark Wahlberg acquired 36% stake in the F45 business. The company’s international growth and expanding popularity attracted high-profile investors (like David Beckham), and “led an investment round that reportedly valued the company at approximately $634 million.” The fitness company also established a relationship with former NBA star Magic Johnson. The lawsuit indicates it was Wahlberg’s connection to Beckham and others that lead to their signing with the company.
In the end, Beckham claims the company failed to issue him shares of the company which was contractually obligated. As a result, David says the value of the stock dropped making his share “approximately $11.33 million as of the First Vesting Date, January 15, 2022. By September 23, 2022, however, their value had dropped precipitously and was approximately $1.97 million-a mere fraction of the value (Beckham’s Company) would have received had F45 timely complied with its contractual obligations.”
Soccer Star David Beckham Is Suing For Over $20 Million In Damages
Also, Beckham claims the company gave “preferential treatment” to other investors, including insiders and directors, to allow them to profit more from their ownership. Alleging it “thus rendered freely tradable, substantially more stock to various entities affiliated with Fortress Investment Group during this same period of time, and had accelerated the vesting of other shares issued to Wahlberg, another key celebrity, who is also a board member, director, and insider.”
The football player is now suing the fitness company for over $20 million in damages.
F45 responded to the lawsuit with a statement:
“F45 is disappointed to learn about the recent lawsuit filed by the licensing company for David Beckham, Authentic Brands Group (“ABG”). F45 believes this suit is an attempt by ABG to unreasonably profit off the rights it purchased from Mr. Beckham, despite ABG prematurely terminating Mr. Beckham’s relationship with F45. F45 deeply values the relationships with all of its ambassadors, including Mr. Beckham, and does not believe this lawsuit has any bearing on, or is an accurate reflection of, F45’s relationship with Mr. Beckham.”