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Jack Nicklaus Is Being Sued For Using His Own Image And Likeness By The Same Company Who Claims They Talked Him Out Of Taking $100 MILLION From The Saudis

Radar - A company says Jack Nicklaus continues to use his own name without their permission reneging on a $145 million deal that controlled his business ventures.

The company also claims it had to save the golf legend from himself in a deal with Saudi Golf — one Nicklaus recently said he turned down $100 million to join.

The claims were made in a new lawsuit filed in a New York court and obtained by Radar. Representatives of Nicklaus could not be reached in time for this report. The suit was filed by Nicklaus Companies, LLC against GBI Investors, Inc. and Nicklaus himself.

Nicklaus Companies said that in 2007 it reached a deal to buy control of various business assets of the legendary golfer. That included his name, nickname of “Golden Bear,” likeness, signature, endorsements and golf course design business, according to the suit.

The sale included $145 million in cash and other considerations, according to the lawsuit.

The deal also gave Nicklas a partial veto power over the business of the company, which he was obligated to use in good faith, the filing states.

However, Nicklaus Companies contended the golfer then engaged in a series of wrongful behaviors that were against the best interest of the company’s use to license and market his trademarks.

The lawsuit lists several alleged examples of the problems, including:

In September 2021, Nicklaus engaged in conversations with a Belgian event promoter for a payment to endorse and promote the Soudal Open, according to the filing. He agreed to let the promoter use his likeness to promote the tournament for a lesser cash payment, regardless of whether he attended the event. Nicklaus Companies said that was done without informing them of endorsements from Nicklaus.

Nicklaus Companies also alleged that in the spring of 2021, Nicklaus engaged in conversations with Golf Saudi, according to the filings. The meetings were to get him to back a new golf league that was a rival to the PGA.

The company argued that Nicklaus’ partnership with the Saudi program would have “risked his goodwill and reputation in the sport of golf” and therefore hurt his marketing value, the suit noted.

So this was pretty big news over the weekend. Word that The Golden Bear said thanks but no thanks to the Saudi Arabian's LIV Golf Association. Allegedly they wanted to pay him, ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS, just to be "the face" of the new league. 

Leaking news that you turned down $100 mil is as cocky as it gets. Except that when you've won 18 majors, earned $1.15 billion, design the best courses in the world, and people call you "The Golden Bear", it's not being cocky.

Hearing news that he said “pass” to 9 figures elicited the awe and pride from every red blooded American and US golf fan.

This would be like India starting a basketball league, and trying to lure MJ over to be the face of the league, and glad hand at their big events. 

You couldn’t blame the guy if he accepted, a hundred million to do next to nothing is a hundred mill. But you still give a little fist pump hearing he said fuck off. 


But now, word that Nicklaus didn’t actually say no, but that the company that essentially owns him did, and that he is basically the victim of an NIL deal that's backfired has me feeling really bad for the old guy.

I feel like these “name and likeness” deals from back in the day were setup by wolves in sheeps clothing agents who dump a truck full of money up front and make it seem too good to be true.

Michael Jordan has a similar deal with Upper Deck. He’s not allowed to sign anything, for anybody, anytime, unless there’s an official from Upper Deck in person to document it, certify, and authenticate it. Who knows how big of a bag he got for this right from UD, years ago? Seems like a pretty good gig getting handed hundreds of millions by one company because other companies want to use your picture or name so bad they’ll pay a shit ton.

But down the road, next thing you know you’re being sued for signing a deal to show up (or not show up) somewhere.

“Fortunately for Nicklaus Companies — and Mr. Nicklaus — the Company was eventually able to convince Mr. Nicklaus to stop exploring a deal for the endorsement of the Saudi-backed league,” the suit read. “The Company essentially saved Mr. Nicklaus from himself by extracting him from a controversial project that could have not only tarnished his legacy and reputation but severely damaged the Nicklaus Companies’ name, brands and business.”

The suit was filed on several claims, including breach of contract and beach of fiduciary duty. It asked for an unspecified amount of money. The company also asked for a court order that prevents Nicklaus from using the rights without first gaining permission from the company.

“It will be impossible to accurately value the full negative impact of that misconduct on the company’s business,” according to the suit.

Between this and the infamous Phil Mickelson “comments” that blew up in his face, it’s safe to say the Saudi golf experiment is a disaster so far. And it hasn’t even begun technically. I know they’ve owned us financially and politically for 30+ year's, but now they’re coming for our sports too!?

Where have you gone Hulk Hogan? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.