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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
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$20 Million Fight Over NASCAR Sponsorship

MARIETTA, Ga. (CN) - A racecar builder says that NASCAR driver Matt McCall and Jacked-Up Energy Drinks defamed him and cost him $20 million in merchandising revenue by backing out of a contract to sponsor his car for the 2011 season.

Charles Kennedy dba Kennedy Motor Sports sued Jacked Up LLC dba Jacked-Up Energy Drinks, Matthew McCall and four other people, in Cobb County Court.

NASCAR is not a party to the complaint.

The complaint states: "Charles R. Kennedy, individually and dba Kennedy Motor Sports agreed to enter a race car in the 2011 NASCAR racing series bearing Jacked Up Energy Drinks logos on its race car as part of a promotional 'Wrap' of the vehicle," the complaint states.

"In consideration of allowing Jacked Up LLC dba Jacked Up Energy Drink to promote its products as part of a promotional 'wrap' on its race car, Charles R. Kennedy individually and dba Kennedy Motor Sports would be paid a $70,000 fee per NASCAR race in which any of its race cars were entered.

"Pursuant to the agreement, defendants were part of a joint venture wherein the defendants would promote Charles R. Kennedy, individually and dba Kennedy Motor Sports, during the 2011 NASCAR racing season and/or wherein defendants Jacked Up LLC, Matthew McCall, Sara McCall, Anthony Swiatek, Joseph Schmitz and Mary Peters would provide other support for Charles Robert Kennedy, individually and dba Kennedy Motor Sports during that time period."

But Kennedy claims the defendants breached the agreement, and that they "have no legal excuse for their breach of the agreement."

Kennedy claims that some of the defendants lied to other "third-party" individuals, which caused Jacked Up to back out of the deal.

"In early 2010, defendants Anthony Swiatek and Arthur Dudley Harrington III made false statements about plaintiff with malicious intent, including but limited to alleging that plaintiff could not be trusted in the handling of monetary funds, that plaintiff did not own or operate a race car meeting NASCAR specifications and that plaintiff did not possess a NASCAR racing license," the complaint states.

Kennedy claims that after breaching the contract, the defendants continued to use the car wrap.

"Following defendants' breach of their contract with plaintiff, defendant Jacked Up LLC dba Jacked Up Energy Drinks proceeded to utilize the promotional 'wrap' prepared by plaintiff and/or others at his behest for the 2011 NASCAR race season on a different race car that is not owned by the plaintiff without reimbursing plaintiff for the expenses incurred in producing such a promotional 'wrap,'" the complaint states.

It adds: "As a result of defendants' breach of the agreement, plaintiffs have sustained damages in the form of lost revenues arising out of the loss of other sponsors, loss of revenues as a result of completing each race entered as provided by NASCAR rules, loss of merchandising rights and such other profits and revenues that normally flow from promoting a race in a NASCAR series of races."

Kennedy seeks $20 million in damages for breach of contract, interference, slander and libel, unjust enrichment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

He is represented by Craig White with Skedsvold & White, of Atlanta.

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