JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Georgia roofing company is suing the Jacksonville Jaguars, claiming a breach of contract because the team wouldn't allow it to pull its sponsorship deal after head coach Urban Meyer was fired.
The company, RoofClaim.com, also claims that it doesn't want its brand associated with being the primary sponsor for Sunday's home game against the Indianapolis Colts because of the movement on social media of disgruntled fans planning to wear clown attire to the game to show their frustration with Jaguars owner Shad Khan.
The lawsuit, filed in circuit court on Thursday in Duval County, seeks in excess of $30,000 in damages. The company had signed a four-year sponsorship contract with the Jaguars in which it agreed to pay $2.51 million. It has already paid $300,000.
The Florida Times-Union newspaper first reported the lawsuit, which claims breach of contract because the defendant did not provide the full scope of marketing outlined in the agreement throughout the regular season. Even if it did provide these marketing opportunities, the defendant has created such a toxic environment around its brand that the promised "co-mingling of marks" has become a detriment to RoofClaim.com, the lawsuit claims.
A Jaguars spokesman issued a statement that said they did receive the complaint, but that "it is baseless and without merit, and contradictory to the very terms RoofClaim.com negotiated in its sponsorship agreement earlier this year. We will exhaustively protect our interests in this matter at every turn."
The lawsuit claims that RoofClaim.com's primary interest in a sponsorship deal was Meyer and specified that any deal would need to be tied to Meyer's tenure with the team. The lawsuit claims that RoofClaim.com met with the Jaguars on Dec. 16, the day Meyer was fired, and said it wanted to end the sponsorship deal "due to the harm that any further affiliation would have on RoofClaim.com's brand."
However, there does not appear to be a provision in the sponsorship agreement to end the deal if Meyer was fired before the end of the third year of the contract, which an attorney for RoofClaim.com attached to a copy of the lawsuit.
Under the terms of agreement, which began Aug. 15, 2021, RoofClaim.com has the option to end the agreement if Meyer ceases to be the head coach between the final game of the third contract year (which ends after the 2023 season) and March 1, 2024, by providing written notice to the Jaguars within 30 days of the announcement that Meyer would no longer be the coach.
The lawsuit is seeking a jury trial.