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Sponsors forced to pay compensation to Force India

High court judge instructs former sponsors Etihad and Aldar to pay Force India F1 compensation for terminated sponsorship deals

Former Force India sponsors Etihad Airways and Aldar Properties have been ordered to pay millions of dollars to the Force India F1 team as compensation for backing out of sponsorship deals in 2008.

The London High Court instructed the UAE-based companies to find a combined $4.683m after being found guilty of illegally terminating deals with the team following Vijay Mallya's takeover last season. Both had signed up to sponsor the team when it was running under the Spyker banner - one of a series of names the former Jordan operation has adopted following a succession of owners in recent years - but called time on their deals, claiming that Mallya had breached the terms of the existing contract.

The nature of the sponsorship arrangement saw Etihad picking up 60 per cent of the cost, with Aldar contributing the remainder, but the former insisted that Mallya bringing his own Kingfisher airline on board as a backer contravened the terms of the deal. The Abu Dhabi national airline, which subsequently joined forces with Ferrari and recently announced a major deal with Manchester City FC, cited a conflict of interest as its reason for the termination.

According to SportsPro Daily Deal, the original three-year deal was due to provide $5m in 2007, $6m in 2008 and $9m in 2009, with bonuses in place to reward the team to the tune of $100,000 for each championship point it scored and $500,000 for each place it advanced in the overall championship.

Judge Gray awarded $2.483m for what he deemed 'wrongful termination' of the agreement, and added $500,000 and $1.3m for termination of the points and championship bonuses respectively, but admitted that the figures would have been higher if Force India had not 'mitigated its loss by finding replacement sponsors'.

Etihad and Aldar both continue to investigate the possibility of appealing against the court's decision.



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Adrian Sutil - Force India-Mercedes VJM002   [pic credit: Force India]
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27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 leads Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race,  Sahara Force India mechanics
27.11.2016 - Race,  Sahara Force India mechanics
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 fans
27.11.2016 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
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Oli - Unregistered

November 06, 2009 9:59 AM

Seems harsh to me. Did the court really expect Etihad to stick their logo on a car with Kingsfisher stamped all over it? I am surprised there was no clause in the contract demanding that no conflicting sponsors come on board. It makes sense and I would have thought it would be pretty standard in sponsorship. If Esso brought Ferrari tomorrow and plastered their logo on it would anyone expect Shell to keep paying them and have their logo alongside. Of course not.

Oli - Unregistered

November 06, 2009 8:58 PM

No mention of the airline specifically? How about the word FLY in big letters. Look closely at the pic on the left, just in front of Sutil's hands on the cockpit is says FLY. Last years car also ran the FLY KINGFISHER graphic down the sidepods at some races. Or does the fly part refer to something they put in the beer? In case anyone was wondering, VM heads the United Breweries Group which brews the beer and also owns the airline. But when it says FLY KINGFISHER I think it's pretty clear which part of the business they are marketing. At the end of the day if Etihad didn't protect themselves with their contract VM is in the right but I am very surprised. Etihad need new lawyers.



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