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Lawsuit filed on Behalf of Run Gum to End Group Boycott of Athlete Sponsors from Olympic Trials

Related Lawyers: Michael D. Hausfeld, Swathi Bojedla, Michael P. Lehmann, Sathya S. Gosselin, Bonny E. Sweeney
Related Practice Areas: Antitrust / Competition, Sports and Entertainment

Washington, DC (January 20, 2016) – Hausfeld, a global claimants’ law firm, announced today that it has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon (Eugene) on behalf of Run Gum, an athlete-owned business that manufactures and sells performance chewing gum, against the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and USA Track & Field (USATF).

The lawsuit seeks to enjoin the defendants’ anticompetitive conduct in preventing Run Gum and numerous other sponsors from sponsoring track & field athletes at the upcoming July 2016 Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field in exchange for sponsor identification on athlete apparel. At present, the 2016 Olympic Trials Uniform Advertising and Logo Regulations permit track & field athletes to wear sponsor logos of only pre-approved athletic-apparel and athletic-equipment manufacturers.

The complaint, which seeks injunctive relief, alleges that: (1) consistent with its mission of supporting athletes, Run Gum wishes to sponsor track & field athletes at the upcoming Olympic Trials in exchange for sponsor identification on the athletes’ apparel, subject to generally applicable limitations on size, quantity, and placement; (2) the defendants and their co-conspirators have jointly agreed to exclude Run Gum and various other businesses from sponsoring individual athletes at the upcoming 2016 Olympic Trials; (3) the 2016 Olympic Trials Uniform Advertising and Logo Regulations threaten economic injury to Run Gum—and to athletes who will be deprived of significant competition among sponsors; and (4) the defendants and their co-conspirators’ attempts to pick and choose eligible market participants, while excluding others, is a group boycott that violates the antitrust laws.

Hausfeld partner Sathya Gosselin explained, “The defendants’ attempts to shut out Run Gum and other sponsors from the upcoming Olympic Trials are unfair—and ultimately harm athletes, who rely on sponsorships to fund their training activities and make a living. This important case is emblematic of our firm’s longstanding commitment to athletes, businesses that support athletes, and economic fairness in all sports. We look forward to our day in court.”

Hausfeld attorneys working on this case are Michael Hausfeld, Sathya Gosselin, Michael Lehmann, Bonny Sweeney, and Swathi Bojedla.

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Deborah Schwartz 
Media Relations 
(240) 355-8838 
deborah@mediarelationsinc.com

About Hausfeld

Hausfeld is a leading global law firm with offices in Berlin, Brussels, London, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. The firm has a broad range of complex litigation expertise, particularly in antitrust/competition, financial services, sports and entertainment, environmental, mass torts, consumer protection, and human rights matters, often with an international dimension. Hausfeld aims to achieve the best possible results for clients through its practical and commercial approach, avoiding litigation where feasible, yet litigating robustly when necessary. Hausfeld’s extensive experience with alternative and innovative fee
models offers clients a diverse menu of engagement options and maximum flexibility in terms of managing their cost exposure.

For more information about the firm, including recent trial victories and landmark settlements, please visit: www.hausfeld.com.

About Run Gum

Run Gum is a sports supplement brand selling performance chewing gum and is headquartered in Eugene, Oregon. They believe performance matters and are on a mission to help athletes maximize their performance in daily training and competition. Founded in October 2014, Run Gum is sold in over 200 stores nationwide as well as on their website, http://getrungum.com.