Danica Patrick’s former sponsor Nature’s Bakery is doubling down on accusations that Stewart-Haas Racing “could not control” her.
The health food brand recently filed a counter claim in response in North Carolina superior court to SHR’s $31 million breach of contract lawsuit, according to USA TODAY. Nature’s Bakery asserts Patrick was peddling competing products while she was under contract with the health food brand.
“SHR could not control Patrick’s performance, particularly as to her social media, which Patrick often refused to promote Nature’s Bakery,” Nature’s Bakery said in its response. “Nor could SHR guarantee exclusivity for Nature’s Bakery’s brand in category of on-the-go foods because Patrick was already endorsing a protein bar made by one of Nature’s Bakery’s competitors, Six Star Pro Nutrition (‘Six Star’). It was as if Michael Jordan decided to wear Adidas while being paid by Nike.”
These allegations are nothing new, as SHR said the company tried to use various social media posts from Patrick as justification for not making scheduled payments. The problem with Nature’s Bakery’s Michael Jordan analogy is, unlike Adidas and Nike, Six Star Pro Nutrition isn’t its direct competitor.
Nature’s Bakery sells healthy snack options, such as brownies and fig bars, whereas Six Star sells protein powders and bars. The snack bar market also is broken down in to categories, such that the two products aren’t in the same market segment, via MarketResearch.com.
The family-owned operation added that SHR promised, as the team’s exclusive on-the-go food, it would see “four-times return” on its investment, totaling $15.2 million annually.
Based on the claims made in Nature’s Bakery’s response to SHR’s lawsuit, as well as a statement it released on Feb. 16, it seems this legal battle might be lengthy.
Thumbnail photo via NASCAR