Badminton Association main sponsor veterinary contract controversy sparked by legal dispute… Court sets hearing date for provisional injunction

The noise surrounding the Korea Badminton Association’s main sponsor number contract sparked into a legal dispute. Victor I&D (hereinafter referred to as Victor), who had been blocked from bidding opportunities in the process of private contracts, raised suspicions about the contract process between the association and Yonex and started a lawsuit.

Summarizing스포츠토토 the coverage of Sports Chosun on the 14th, Victor recently appointed a legal representative and filed an application for a provisional injunction to suspend the validity of a private contract with the Seoul Eastern District Court. Accordingly, Dongbu Support received the case and requested attendance from the creditor (Victor) and the debtor (Korea Badminton Association), while deciding to hold an interrogation on the afternoon of the 17th.

When the main sponsor contract with Yonex expired for 4 years (January 2019 to December 2022), the association signed a 4-year renewal contract with Yonex in February. Then Victor protested loudly. In November and December 2022, an official letter was sent to the association to announce its intention to participate in the bidding, and then inquired about the announcement schedule, but the association insisted that there was a suspicion of collusion and preferential treatment in signing a private contract with Yonex while remaining silent.

Victor has signed a main sponsor contract with the association three times from 2009 to 2018. At the time, everyone had renewed their contracts through open bidding, but it was unacceptable that Victor was suddenly deprived of the opportunity to participate in the bidding through a private contract.

After filing several complaints, Victor received an answer from the association in March. According to the response obtained by Sports Chosun, the association had to prioritize the selection of a stable sponsor due to the experience of having the contract with Victor terminated in the middle for an unclear reason in 2018. After explaining, “As a result of legal review, there are no regulations related to competitive bidding, and the association is not a public corporation or other public institution, so it can freely choose a contract partner according to the principle of freedom of contract under the civil law.”

Accordingly, it is known that Victor will file a counterargument through a written opinion to be submitted to the court. First of all, in 2018, it was not Victor’s unilateral termination of the contract, but that the association had connived use of competitor’s (Yonex) products, etc., and that it was due to reasons attributable to the violation of the terms of the contract.

Regarding the association’s claim of ‘absence of bidding-related regulations’, Victor refutes based on the marketing regulations of the Korea Sports Council, a higher-level organization. According to Sports Association Marketing Regulations Article 8 (Selection of Commercial Right Holders and Contracts), the selection of commercial right holders (sponsor companies) is based on competitive bidding. Matters related to bidding shall be announced and notified.

Accordingly, Victor argues that even if the Badminton Association does not have its own rules, it has to comply with the rules of the sports meeting, a higher-level organization, like other sports organizations, and raised suspicion by violating the pre-bidding notice rules. In addition, Victor’s side emphasized that “priority negotiation rights” and “private contracts” are completely different concepts, and that avoiding even competitive bidding on the grounds of preferential negotiations cannot be justified.

In the end, the dispute between the two sides was left to the judgment of the court, resulting in a legal dispute unprecedented in the history of badminton in Korea. An official from Victor said, “I have filed complaints about unfair trade with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Sports Council, but I ended up filing a lawsuit because I was tired of being ‘submitted’ to the association.” We cannot give up the legal battle,” he said.

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