A business has claimed that golf legend Jack Nicklaus has been using his name without permission, walking away from a $145-million settlement he had reached to oversee his business ventures. The new suit alleges Jack Nicklaus used Nicklaus name and likeness to make profits, although a corporation technically owned him. The firm has also claimed golf legend Jack Nicklaus has a corporation technically owned him with Saudi Arabian Golf, the Company said, citing a deal with LIV Golf Invitational Series. The agreement, however, grants golfing legend Jack Nicklaus some veto over a company’s affairs, according to a document he is required to use with good faith.
His own Company filed suit earlier this month against Jack Nicklaus, alleging Nicklaus had been active in working directly against the Company multiple times since reaching an exclusive $145-million agreement with it. At the centre of the litigation, the companies believe Jack Nicklaus failed to deliver on his exclusive rights over his intellectual property and services, which he paid $145 million for in 2007. The lawsuit alleges that Jack Nicklaus’s negotiations with the Golf Saudi Arabia, which Nicklaus Companies says it learned of after the fact, threatened to jeopardise the goodwill associated with his intellectual property.
The firm also accused Nicklaus, through Nicklaus’s family office, of refusing to grant any licenses and uses for his name and likeness in the video golf game, not telling Nicklaus Companies about it as the firm tried to strike an agreement with video game developers. Thanks to the intervention by Nicklaus Companies, the Company was able to minimise the impact of this situation and protect both the Company’s goodwill and Nicklaus’s good name. The potentially irreparable damage the Nicklaus Companies faced had the unauthorised activities by Mr Nicklaus not been abandoned was underscored by continued statements made by the PGA Tour and various leading players on the PGA Tour, as well as extensive negative press coverage critical of Phil Mickelson’s participation as a paid endorser in a Saudi-backed golf league.
The firm alleges that Jack Nicklaus and the GBI investors had an agreement. The Nicklaus Companies Executive Chairman is Howard Milstein, a New York businessman who is the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of the Private Bank of New York and Trust. On May 13, a complaint filed in New York Superior Court was filed against the 82-year-old golf legend by New York Superior Court, alleging breach of contract by Nicklaus Companies, tortious interference and breach of fiduciary duties.