SBD/21/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing
WILL FILA BRING SUIT AGAINST SELES' DESPITE RETURN?
Published July 21, 1995
Monica Seles continues to wear Fila apparel despite the company's $3M suit against her for breach of contract. The Italian sports shoe and apparel company "bizarrely finds itself in court seeking to unhitch itself from its star just when that star is shining brightest in hype heaven," according to Roger Thurow of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The suit stems from Seles' 27-month absence from the WTA Tour, as Fila said it was advised Seles would return on three different occasions and spent millions to prepare and advertise new apparel lines. Fila claims to have lost more than $3M in potential sales. But Seles "pointedly drapes herself in Fila T-shirts as she practices and promotes her return, defiantly refuting the breach of contract charges." During her absence, Seles was not paid by Fila, or racquet sponsor, Yonex, but her relationship with Yonex is more "harmonious" than that with Fila. Yet, there may be a chance for a "happy reconciliation." Fila, "despite its words and actions," hasn't yet decided whether to "drop its suit against Seles and re-woo her should see really resume her career this time" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/21).