FAIRHAVEN, Mass. – Acushnet Company, manufacturer of Titleist and FootJoy, filed suit Thursday in Superior Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts against TaylorMade-Adidas Golf and professional golfer Camilo Villegas.
Acushnet is seeking a preliminary injunction against TMAG and Villegas regarding any future comments pertaining to a potential future relationship between them. Villegas, ranked No. 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is exclusively under contract with Acushnet to play the company’s Titleist Pro V1 golf ball, and wear FootJoy golf shoes and gloves, and is prominently featured in the advertising and promotion of those products. The suit claims TMAG intentionally interfered with Villegas’ current contract nearly five months before the end of its term. Acushnet will seek damages in addition to injunctive relief.
In a press release distributed on Aug. 3, TaylorMade’s president and CEO announced that Villegas will join the TMAG tour staff beginning in 2011, and stated that more information will be revealed on Sept. 9. It further noted that Villegas will join “other members of the renowned TaylorMade Tour Staff,” including Kenny Perry and Mike Weir, both of whom are under contract with Acushnet Company to play Titleist golf balls and wear Titleist or FootJoy golf gloves.
“It is unconscionable that this competitor would interfere with a player’s contract by publicly announcing its intentions with that player during his contract term with another company,” said Joe Nauman, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Legal, Acushnet Company.