SBD/March 3, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Panther Racing Sues IndyCar, Rahal Letterman Over Loss Of National Guard Sponsorship

Panther's lawsuit is seeking unspecified economic and punitive damages
IndyCar team Panther Racing has "sued Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, IndyCar and others," claiming it lost a $17.2M sponsorship with the Army National Guard "because of bid-rigging and other improprieties," according to the AP. The lawsuit, filed Feb. 19 in Marion County Court in Indianapolis, follows a "ruling earlier this year by the U.S. Government Accountability Office." The GAO "denied Panther's appeal of moving the Army National Guard sponsorship to Graham Rahal's car for the upcoming IndyCar season." The lawsuit, which seeks "unspecified economic and punitive damages, accuses IndyCar of breach of contract, contending Panther Racing had exclusive right to provide Fan Village access rights and benefits to the Army National Guard, which was a requirement of the contract, but that IndyCar CEO Mark Miles wrote a letter last November saying Rahal had the right to provide that access." The lawsuit alleges that IndyCar is "liable for all economic damages to Panther arising from that breach." The lawsuit also alleges that RLLR was "aware of Panther Racing's exclusive rights to provide access to the Fan Village and falsely claimed ownership of the contractual right." Landing the funding was a "big step that will help the overall growth of the Rahal organization" (AP, 3/1).

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