BALTIMORE — An Oregon judge set a July 2024 trial date for a civil trial in which Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is suing Nike on allegations the footwear company he used to endorse breached its contract.
Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Judith H. Matarazzo ordered last week for the 10-day trial to begin July 8, over 1 1/2 years since Beckham filed a complaint. He is seeking over $20 million in damages on allegations the Beaverton-based company went back on a deal to match an offer from its main competitor, Adidas.
Beckham’s attorney, Daniel Davillier, confirmed that the trial had been set for July. Nike did not return requests to comment on the matter.
Nike’s three-year contract with Beckham, signed in 2014, agreed the company would pay Beckham $45,000 each year, as well as a percentage of sales from products with his endorsement and “various incentive payments,” the lawsuit says.
By the time that contract was set to expire, Beckham’s popularity had surged — he was named Offensive Rookie of the Year by The Associated Press, voted to become the cover star of Madden NFL 16 and recorded his 200th reception in his 30th career game.
Nike agreed in 2017 to match an offer from Adidas offering Beckham a yearly base salary of $3.2 million to $4.2 million as well as an upfront payment, millions in guaranteed royalties and extensions based on sales, the lawsuit says. Beckham signed off with Nike.
The first five or so years went by smoothly, but Beckham claims he was shorted millions during the extension phase — he alleges that a letter from Nike in 2017 that memorialized the deal had, unbeknownst to him, changed the target needed to trigger additional years from “net sales” to “earned royalties” meeting or exceeding his guaranteed royalties. He alleges the company “intentionally avoid[ed] manufacturing, marketing, or selling products” bearing his likeness for a period to avoid granting him an extension.
Beckham filed the lawsuit in November, noting in a statement that the Oregon footwear company “did not honor its commitments.” Around the time he was signed by the Ravens in April, Beckham scored an early win in the legal battle when another judge denied Nike’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
The 30-year-old wide receiver had been a star long before he joined the Ravens, and his life off the field has continued to be under intense speculation. People Magazine reported Tuesday that Beckham has been “hanging out” with Kim Kardashian, making waves in celebrity gossip outlets — some of which have already attempted to quash the rumor. He became a father last year with his girlfriend, Lauren Wood, though the two have not publicly confirmed a split.
Beckham injured his ankle in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Coach John Harbaugh later declined to discuss specifics of the injury.
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