The suit dates back to a breach in 2014 and 2016 where the company and Flo had endorsement agreements. According to released legal documents, Flo Rida’s team claims Celsius did not honor the various guaranteed royalties and stock options for the rapper as he serves as a driving force in the brand’s success. His team is seeking over $30,000 in damages.
“Even Celsius’ top management publicly recognized that the partnership between Flo Rida and Celsius accelerated the introduction of the Celsius brand to millions around the world and allowed Celsius to finally succeed at new levels,” the lawsuit states.
Flo Rida is suing on two counts of breach of contract, accounting, and unjust enrichment.
Per Insider, Flo Rida’s lawyer John Uustal stated: “He’s entitled to 500,000 shares of stock via the contract, and entitled to 250,000 shares of stock if certain things happen — one of those yardsticks is that a certain number of units of products need to be sold, but unfortunately the contract doesn’t specify which type of unit — is it a box, is it a drink? And there’s no timeframe or deadline.”
He added, “In Flo’s mind this was always a Vitamin Water type of deal, he was signing on to 1% of the company of a multi-million dollar endorsement deal and was hardly getting paid anything for it.” By 2021, Celsius reportedly raked in $130 million in sales revenue.
Flo Rida, née Tramar Lacel Dillard, is deemed a “global brand ambassador” by the company but was left out of conversations surrounding their sales or financial records.
The Carol City, Fla. rapper highlighted the drink in his music video “Hola,” featuring Latin artist Maluma. In the video, a group of partygoers drink a “Celsius Heat,” energy drink the morning after a wild night.
“He’s still in his mind a good partner, and he’s sad that they’re not,” Uustal stated. “This has always been a moral issue for him.”
After pre-trial hearings yesterday (Jan. 9), jury selection will take place Tuesday (Jan 10). The trial is set to start this week.