David Beckham and Greg Norman are suing the F45 fitness franchise for more than $20 million, claiming they entered into promotional deals to help grow the brand, which did not pay them “substantial cash and stock compensation.”
According to legal documents, obtained by The Blast, Beckham and Norman claim they signed on to promote F45, which was on its way to becoming one of the biggest brands in the fitness world. Obviously, both athletes being the greatest in their respective sports, agreed to use their images and brands to grow the business.
As part of the deal, the two stars struck a deal that would include annual payments ($1.5 million for Beckham) and a percentage of company stock. In the suit, the company representing the two stars, says F45 has benefited significantly from its relationship with them, which “enhanced its public profile and credibility and helped roll out new fitness offerings for F45.” As a result of their efforts, Beckham and Norman claim that F45 went public in 2021 at a valuation nearly three times higher than it was two years earlier.
David Beckham claims F45 failed to pay him millions in stock and cash
The lawsuit includes copies of action photos posted on Instagram by the footballer, showing him in an F45 studio and training. Additionally, he claims to have provided marketing and promotional services including public and private appearances, photo and video shoots, social media and printed materials for a period of 5 years. In 2021, F45 officially announced Beckham as a global partner, posting footage of him training at an F45 facility, and Beckham claims F45 co-founder Adam Gilchrist even described the company’s affiliation. with Beckham as “a monumental partnership”.
But, claim the star athletes after holding their end of the bargain, F45’s business began to falter in 2022 due to “fiscal mismanagement and macroeconomic pressures” and F45 is said to have withheld millions of dollars in contractual consideration from Beckham and to Norman.
Mark Wahlberg buys part of F45, brings in Beckham and other celebrities
Fun fact: In 2019, the star actor Mark Wahlberg acquired a 36% stake in the F45 company. The company’s international growth and rising popularity attracted high-profile investors (such as David Beckham) and “led an investment round that would have valued the company at approximately $634 million”. The fitness company also struck up a relationship with the former NBA star Magic Johnson. The lawsuit says it was Wahlberg’s connection to Beckham and others that led to their signing with the company.
In the end, Beckham claims the company did not issue him shares of the company that was contractually obligated. As a result, David says the stock’s value dropped, making his share “about $11.33 million on the first vesting date, January 15, 2022. As of September 23, 2022, however, their value had dropped precipitously and was approximately $1.97 million – a mere fraction of the value (Beckham’s Company) would have received had F45 timely complied with its contractual obligations.”
Soccer star David Beckham is suing for more than $20 million in damages
Additionally, Beckham says the company has given “preferential treatment” to other investors, including insiders and directors, to allow them to get more out of their ownership. Alleging that he “thus made freely tradable, many more shares to various entities affiliated with Fortress Investment Group during this same period, and had accelerated the acquisition of other shares issued to Wahlberg, another key celebrity, who is also a board member, director, and insider.”
The soccer player is now suing the fitness company for more than $20 million in damages.