Reaves Law Firm files lawsuit after Hardaway advertising contract falls through

Memphis Tigers coach Penny Hardaway (Brandon Dill/AP)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A local law firm is suing Tiger Sports Properties after they allegedly entered into an exclusive contract without Penny Hardaway’s permission.

According to the lawsuit, Reaves Law Firm signed a contract with Tiger Sports Properties, the exclusive rights owner for University of Memphis athletics, that said the law firm could use Penny Hardaway’s name, image and likeness as part of a marketing and advertising campaign from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2024. The contract also reportedly stated that the law firm would be given access to Hardaway in order to create these advertisements.

With this contract signed in March 2019, the law firm said they started making significant payments to Tiger Sports Properties.

On June 26, Reaves Law Firm said they received notice from The Sacks Group, PLLC, the group that represents Hardaway. They said Tiger Sports Properties didn’t have the right to grant the law firm use of Hardaway’s name, image or likeness. Furthermore, Hardaway didn’t authorize any of it.

The Reaves Law Firm filed a lawsuit against Tiger Sports Properties on August 2, 2019 asking for at least $75,000.

On Tuesday, the law firm released a statement to clarify that they are not accusing Hardaway of any wrongdoing.

“The lawsuit reference in the Commercial Appeal, USA Today and numerous other media outlets is simply a contractual dispute between the Reaves Law Firm PLLC and a multimedia rights company. The Reaves Law Firm has alleged absolutely no wrongdoing by Penny Hardaway or the University of Memphis. …The Reaves Law Firm whole heartedly supports Coach Penny and the University of Memphis as they bring the NCAA championship banner back to our city in 2020. Go Tigers!”

To read the lawsuit, click here.

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