Basketball star Jimmer Fredette is engaged in a full-court press against a Utah apparel company he claims has failed to honor an endorsement contract.
The former Brigham Young University phenomenon, now in his second season with the NBA's Sacramento Kings, alleges in a complaint that Black Clover Enterprises owes him money and has used his identity without his consent. Black Clover is a Draper clothing company that targets an active "Live Lucky" audience.
Fredette, 24, seeks at least $50,000, plus interest and court costs and attorneys' fees, according to the lawsuit filed in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City.
News of the lawsuit fast-tracked discussions between representatives for Fredette and the company, who spent Wednesday trying to work out the dispute.
Brett Wayment, a co-founder of Black Clover, said the case was in the process of being dismissed.
"We are moving forward in a very positive manner," he said, one he said would include a continued relationship with the pro player.
Tyson Snow, Fredette's attorney, confirmed there had been "significant" discussions, adding that it is "our hope that the complaint can be dismissed in the near future and that any existing relationships can be preserved."
Fredette alleges that on March 15, 2012, he signed an endorsement agreement with Black Clover that allowed the company to use his name and likeness on various products, in advertisements and in promotional campaigns. The basketball star agreed to make a two-hour appearance for the company, provide up to 100 signed products for its use and to mention and wear its products at events "when possible."
Black Clover agreed to pay Fredette $50,000 per year with half that due upon signing and the other half within six months. It also agreed to pay Fredette a royalty, due at least twice a year, on gross revenue of products sold that he had endorsed and to give Fredette and his agent each $500 worth of its products. Fredette's friends and family were supposed to get a discount on purchases.
About two weeks after signing the contract, Fredette posted on his Facebook Page that he had some "big news to announce. ... Can't say anything yet ... but I'll keep you all updated right here on FB. Live Lucky!" Two days later he revealed that he had signed with Black Clover to "sport my new signature hats.
"Get some of my new gear and Live Lucky!" he wrote. Fredette posted additional comments and a photo of the "Jimmer Luck" hat on his Facebook page about the company on April 30, May 15 and May 18. He also tweeted about its products.
But Fredette says he never received the $50,000 from Black Clover and he alleges the company failed to promote products he endorsed. Fredette also claims that despite failing to pay him, the company proceeded to use his likeness in advertisements.
Black Clover was started by Wayment and Craig Labrum, former teammates on the Utah State University golf team, in 2008. Its signature products hats, belt buckles, wristbands, etc. feature a shamrock. Labrum is no longer with the company and was not with the business when it entered the deal with Fredette. According to court filings, Labrum contends he was forced out of Black Clover in November 2011 by Wayment and new investors Michael Lichtie and Matthew Lichtie, and is suing the company for unpaid compensation.
Black Clover is a defendant in two additional contractual lawsuits in 3rd District Court; also, an eviction lawsuit was dismissed in March.