Renowned soccer star David Beckham and pro golfer Greg Norman are suing a Mark Wahlberg-backed gym for more than $20 million, claiming it withheld payments for their sponsorship.
In a lawsuit obtained by The blastBeckham and Norman say they’ve signed promotional deals with Australia-based F45 Training to help the brand grow.
As part of the deal, The Blast reports, the professional athletes would receive annual payments (to the tune of $1.5 million for Beckham, while Norman’s annual fee remains unclear) as well as a percentage of the company’s stock.
Since then, they’ve appeared in a number of advertisements and held several promotional events for the fitness company’s expansion into the United States, with the athletes’ lawyers saying the company “benefited significantly” from their agreement.
The lawsuit alleges that Beckham and Norman’s promotion of the fitness company “raised its public profile and credibility and helped roll out new fitness offerings for F45,” and because of their efforts, the company went public in 2021, with a valuation of nearly three times higher than it had had. been two years earlier.
But, the professional athletes in the lawsuit allege, F45 did not pay them “significant cash and stock compensation” because it lost value in the stock market.
Shares of the fitness giant were trading at just $3.07, down more than 76 percent over the year.
Football star David Beckham and pro golfer Greg Norman are suing F45 Training for over $20 million, claiming it withheld payments for their sponsorship
Mark Wahlberg acquired a 36 percent stake in the company in 2019, when it was valued at approximately $634 million.
Shares of the fitness company traded for just $3.07 on Wednesday
Beckham signed with the company at the behest of his friend, actor Mark Wahlberg, who acquired a 36 percent stake in the company in 2019, when it was valued at approximately $634 million.
Since then, he has provided marketing, promotional services such as public and private appearances, photo and video recording, as well as promoting the company on his social media and in print materials, the lawsuit alleges.
By 2021. F45 has officially announced Beckham as a global partner, publishing images of him at one of its facilities, with co-founder Adam Gilchrist reportedly describing the company’s affiliation with Beckham as a “monumental partnership.”
He then had to pay $5 million on July 14 of this year, as the company celebrated the first anniversary of its debut on the New York Stock Exchange, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
But when the company’s stock prices began to fall in 2022 due to what the lawsuit describes as “tax mismanagement and macroeconomic pressures,” F45 reportedly began withholding millions of dollars from him.
At the same time, Beckham is said to have lost nearly $10 million as stock prices plummeted from about $11.33 million when he vested on Jan. 15, 2022, to just about $1.97 million on Sept. 23, “just a fraction of its value.” [Beckham’s company] would have received if F45 had fulfilled its contractual obligations on time.’
In the lawsuit, Beckham alleges that he provided marketing, promotional services such as public and private appearances, photographs and video recordings, as well as promoting the company on his social media and in print materials, but the company withheld millions of dollars from him.
The lawsuit also alleges, according to The Blast, that the company gave “preferential treatment” to other investors, including “insiders and executives,” allowing them to benefit more from their property.
It says the company has “given significantly more shares to several entities affiliated with Fortress Investment Group during the same period, and accelerated the vesting of other shares issued to Wahlberg, another celebrity, who is also a board member, director and insider.” is. ‘
DailyMail.com has contacted F45 Training for comment.
Former NFL recipient has previously filed a lawsuit against the fitness company, alleging it owed him more than $700,000 in unpaid wages
Former NFL receiver Terrell Owens previously filed a similar lawsuit against the fitness company.
He claimed in his 2017 lawsuit that F45 paid him no more than $700,000 in unpaid wages, according to Bleacher report.
In the lawsuit, Owens claimed he agreed to appear in a promotional video for $15,000, which both parties claimed was paid.
But Owens said the gym also had to pay him $25,000 for each of the first 25 gums opened in the United States and an additional $5,000 for each opening after that.
At the time, there were at least 45 gyms in the United States.
Owens sought at least $725,000 in damages, but, notes Bleacher Report, the CEO has denied the allegations, saying “everything filed is a total fabrication of the truth.”
He said the company planned to sue Owens over the claims, saying, “We’re not a company that doesn’t pay our bills.”
But a judge ultimately ruled in favor of Owens.
The company went public on July 15, 2021. Darren Richman, Greg Norman, Michael Raymond, Chris Payne, Mark Wahlberg and F45 founder and CEO Adam Gilchrist are ringing the bell on the New York Stock Exchange that day.
But the company has previously announced that it plans to cut its workforce and lower its profit and revenue forecasts for this year after it promised a slew of celebrities large compensation for their endorsements.
For example, former NBA star Magic Johnson received a cash payment of $4 million and $5 million in shares, while American model Cyndi Crawford received $5 million in shares, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
In all, the company reported $4.5 million in stock-based spending related to its celebrity deals over the summer, as well as future liabilities of $4.5 million in stock-based spending, according to the Herald.
And by the end of June, the company had only $8.5 million in cash left, but $60.6 million in debt.
CEO Ben Coates then announced in July that the company no longer plans to expand as it shifts its focus to preserving cash and profits.