Tha Sports Junkies 101

Stewart-Haas Racing Sues Natures Bakery Over Breach Of Contract


Stewart-Haas Racing has filed a $31 million lawsuit against Danica Patrick’s sponsor Natures Bakery after the company failed to pay up.  Nature’s Bakery was scheduled to sponsor at least 20 races this season, and it was in the second year of a three-year deal to be the primary sponsor for Patrick.

The deal came in late 2015 and many saw Natures Bakery and Danica Patrick as a perfect fit marketing wise as both have great stances on healthy living. Patrick has also promoted Nature’s Bakery on social media, and case documents claim she ate the fig bars before she was partnered with the company.

Speculation however began of a possible sponsorship fallout last month during the NASCAR Media Tour, where Patrick not only wore a TAXAct (another primary) firesuit, but ones with no sign of the companies logo or likeness anywhere to be found. Nature’s Bakery later sent a letter to the team on Jan. 19 terminating the sponsorship agreement, and that the company has missed several re-scheduled deadlines to pay.

In court documents, Stewart-Haas Racing accuses the sponsor had money issues regarding the sponsorship not long after it was announced in late 2015 and Natures Bakery asked for a reworked “payment plan”. The team also accuses them of  concocting “a scheme to avoid further payments” by claiming Patrick had been endorsing competing products and was not using her social media presence enough to promote Nature’s Bakery. The team finally acknowledged not long before the deal was made that the company couldn’t afford the deal, but Natures Bakery founder David Marson “provided repeated assurances that Nature’s Bakery had the cash flow and funds to meet all the financial requirements.”

Stewart-Haas Racing published this statement regarding the fallout Friday:

“It is an unfortunate situation, as the team has delivered on all aspects of its contract and was prepared to do so again in 2017. Ultimately, this is a situation that will be resolved in a court of law,” the statement said, adding the team is moving forward with plans to field four cars in the Monster Energy Cup Series while also expanding to include a full-time Xfinity Series team. “The litigation with Nature’s Bakery will not impact the organization’s on-track efforts.”

Natures Bakery did not have any comment on the suit, but it looks like this sponsorship is over either way after one season.