Nov
25
2013
One down, one to go: Rory McIlroy and Oakley settle legal row
By Stephanie Wei under Rory McIlroy
Rory

Sign of better times to come?

Rory McIlroy has been embroiled several unfortunate controversial situations this year, but one of them was finally put to rest on Sunday. McIlroy and his former sponsor Oakley “amicably” settled a legal dispute, according to the Irish golfer via a somewhat amusing statement on his website:

Rory McIlroy and Oakley Resolve their Differences 

The legal claims brought by Oakley against Rory McIlroy in California have been amicably settled to the satisfaction of both parties.

Pat McIlvain, VP of Oakley Sports Marketing, said on behalf of the Company: “We are very pleased the proceedings against Rory have been resolved. We enjoyed an excellent relationship with Rory as an Oakley brand ambassador. He conducted all his engagements on our behalf with energy and professionalism. We recognize that, in his business dealings with us that were the subject matter of this dispute, Rory was represented by his agent.”

McIlroy also expressed satisfaction that the case against him is resolved.

“I always had an excellent working relationship with Oakley’s representatives and I am delighted the case is now behind me.”

That’s fantastic by both parties. Rory switched sponsors in January, prompting Oakley to initiate legal action in attempt to maintain its endorsement deal. The American sportswear company claimed it had the right of refusal (the right to match a deal by another company — in this case, Nike’s contract with Rory, which was worth a reported $200 million) and was not given the opportunity.

From what can be gleaned in the released statement above, McIlroy and Oakley are putting the blame on Rory’s former agent, Conor Ridge and his firm, Horizon Sports Management, which allegedly received an email from Oakley representatives saying they were “out of the mix.”

McIlroy officially parted ways with Ridge and Horizon in September and the two parties are also entangled in a legal battle, which sounds much uglier than the Oakley situation. Rory and Horizon are not only suing each other, but Rory and Ridge are taking each other to court personally, too. Yikes.

Well, I’m sure Rory, who said earlier this month that his legal troubles have been a distraction, is happy to have the Oakley issue off his back, so he’s a step closer to just focusing on golf. McIlroy is playing in this week’s Australian Open at Royal Sydney, and in case you didn’t already know, he’s kind of a big deal.