Jacksonville Jaguars Sued by Sponsor Over Fans Planning to Dress as Clowns

The main sponsor for the Jacksonville Jaguars' upcoming game filed a lawsuit Thursday to pull itself out amidst a planned fan protest at the stadium that will involve dressing up as clowns.

RoofClaim, a Cobb County, Georgia-based residential and commercial roofing company, stated in the lawsuit's filing that it was "currently faced with the prospect of its brand being emphasized as the primary sponsor of the clown game." The company had previously signed a $600,000 contract with the Jaguars in August that would guarantee Jacksonville made them the primary sponsor for at least one regular season home game.

However, RoofClaim argued that the Jaguars have not held up their end of the contract, in which the NFL club reportedly said that it would provide the company with "dominant TV exposure" and "[send] a message to the marketplace that a brand is deeply tied to the team....[while providing] sponsorship rights, benefits and opportunities."

The Jaguars "utterly failed to provide the sponsorship benefits outlined in the agreement," according to the the lawsuit. RoofClaim also claimed in the filing that the team breached the signed contract by exposing the company to "a toxic marketing environment that will cause irreparable harm."

RoofClaim had already paid the Jaguars $300,000, according to court filings, when they told the team on December 16 that they wanted to part ways. This request came one day after Jacksonville fired their head coach, Urban Meyer, following a 2-11 start to the season.

The court filing claimed that Jacksonville included "an opt-out provision based on Urban Meyer's continued employment with the team," which RoofClaim attempted to enact.

Jaguars Logo
The primary sponsor for the Jacksonville Jaguars' upcoming game is suing the team after fans plan to invade their stadium en masse wearing clown outfits to protest a losing season. Here, the Jaguars logo can be seen at TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jaguars, in 2020. James Gilbert/Getty

However, the Jaguars "insisted that the partnership continue," according to the lawsuit, and would not let RoofClaim nullify the agreement.

As the season continued and Jacksonville dropped to 2-14, plans circulated among fans online to "clown out" the final home game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Hundreds of fans across social media have changed their profile pictures to clown emojis donning a mustache like Jaguars owner Shad Khan, and the Associated Press reported that many of these people plan to attend the upcoming game wearing clown makeup and rubber noses in order to protest the direction of the team.

As a result of this upcoming "clown game," RoofClaim's lawsuit stated that further association with the Jaguars would damage their brand, and the suit is asking a judge to void the remaining agreement between the two parties.

As the lawsuit gets underway, efforts appear to have already been taken by the company to distance itself from the team. The Florida Times-Union reported that RoofClaim promoted its partnership with the Jaguars on its website throughout the beginning of the season, but no longer does so.

However, a statement released by the Jaguars argued that, while the roofing company was the one filing suit, they were actually the ones at fault.

"We are in receipt of the complaint filed by RoofClaim," the Jaguars said. "It is baseless and without merit, and contradictory to the very terms RoofClaim negotiated in its sponsorship agreement earlier this year."

"We will exhaustively protect our interests in this matter at every turn," the team added.

The Jaguars host the Colts this Sunday at 12 p.m. ET.

Newsweek has reached out to RoofClaim for comment.