November ruling expected for Lagardère Sports v Karlsruhe case

Kalrsruher SC flag (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

The Regional Court of Karlsruhe is scheduled to deliver its verdict on November 15 on the legal case between sports marketing agency Lagardère Sports Germany and Karlsruhe SC of German football’s 2. Bundesliga.

Lagardère Sports Germany took legal action at the start of this year after the club ended its commercial contract with the German arm of the international sports marketing agency.

Judge Anja Korn announced that there has been no “amicable agreement” between the agency and the second-tier club following the session at the Karlsruhe chamber. Both parties are due to deliver their responses to the chamber’s preliminary findings before further deliberation by the court.

Karlsruhe has been pushing for a dismissal of the case as legal representatives of Lagardère Sports Germany continue to argue that the termination of the contract was not lawful.

The two parties announced a long-term extension to their contract at the end of 2016.

No term was announced for the new contract, although it was announced that the agency would market the club’s commercial rights during the construction of a new stadium and after it is operational. Reconstruction work at the club’s old-fashioned Wildparkstadion began in November last year.

The 2. Bundesliga club first attempted to end the contract in December last year, referring to the highly-disputed clause 627 of the German Civil Code. That clause grants the possibility of a right to termination and, in certain cases, without the need to provide notice.

Karlsruhe is said to have attempted to enact a further termination in March after an email sent by Lagardère Sports Germany to club sponsors, which reportedly cited the “ineffective” termination by the club. Karlsruhe is earlier said to have informed sponsors and partners that the co-operation with the agency would end.

The case could end up being heard at Karlsruhe’s Higher Regional Court if either side appeals the verdict in November.

Lagardère Sports Germany (previously Sportfive Germany) first began its co-operation with Karlsruhe in 2011.

The agency had worked with the club previously, after brokering a shirt sponsorship deal in 2010 with Klaiber Markisen, the sunshade products manufacturer that is still Karlsruhe’s main partner.