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SBD Global/January 16, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Of Dusseldorf Arena Naming-Rights Sponsor Esprit

A German court "has dismissed the lawsuit of fashion company Esprit against the operator of the Dusseldorf Arena," according to Tobias Dupke of DIE WELT. Judge Rolf Siepe said, "There's nothing to this." He added, "The lawsuit is not only without a base but also inconsistent." The judge's statement means for Esprit that its termination of the naming-rights deal on April 30 "is not valid." The company "will stay on as naming-rights sponsor of the arena until June 30, 2019 after the stadium operator took an option to extend the contract." The reason for Esprit's termination was a "drastic price increase" for the sponsorship. Esprit said that the operator had increased the price from €900,000 ($1.2M) to €1.3M ($1.8M) annually after football club Fortuna Dusseldorf "got promoted into the Bundesliga." The fashion company said that "the contract included a special right of termination if the sponsorship price increased by more than 30%" (DIE WELT, 1/15).
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