Sports marketing firm files suit against ASU - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Sports marketing firm files suit against ASU

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama State University faces a breach of contract lawsuit from a sports consulting company. Innovation Sports and Entertainment claims it had an agreement with ASU to market and sell sponsorship rights for the new ASU stadium and other athletic interests.  In the lawsuit, the group said ASU canceled the agreement without cause.

In response filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court on Monday, attorneys for the university denied all of the charges made by Innovation Sports and Entertainment and denied a valid contract was ever in place.

[DOCUMENT: ASU Response (.pdf)]

[DOCUMENT: ASU Stadium Lawsuit (.pdf)]

The Pittsburgh-based firm – then known as GSP Consulting - said after it signed the contract in April 2011, it began work on a wide range of marketing services for ASU Athletics.  WSFA 12 News found GSP was paid more than $124,000 for work up until December 2011, the last date for which those numbers were available.

Sources tell WSFA 12 News GSP identified $14 million in potential revenues from not only the stadium but also ASU's other athletic facilities.  Sources also said there was some concern among university officials that GSP wasn't moving fast enough to satisfy the agreement.

GSP claims that wasn't the case: it had already begun the process of selling suites, loges and season tickets, and also looking into potential naming rights for the new stadium.

In April 2012, the university terminated the contract.  In its lawsuit which was filed in November, GSP said the university breached the contract without cause.  GSP claims ASU never told the company that it had any objections to its plans or its progress in implementing them.

Innovation Sports and Entertainment claims the termination caused the company harm and that ASU owes it additional compensation and commissions.  

Attorneys for ASU claim the contract was null and void in Alabama.  They claim even if the contract was valid, it was properly terminated for non-performance.

An official with Innovation Sports and Entertainment told WSFA 12 News the company sought to settle the dispute for months before filing suit.  It is seeking unspecified damages and court costs.

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