April 7, 2010 (CAP Newswire) – After two years of exclusive, on-the-felt World Series of Poker (WSOP) sponsorship, Everest Poker has apparently chosen not only to end the partnership but sue the WSOP (and its owner, Harrah’s) in order to nullify an existing three-year contract.
Back in 2008, Everest and WSOP agreed on a deal that gave Everest’s logo exclusive presence at every table. “The sponsorship deal called for a $6.2 million payment for 2008, a $7.9 million payment for 2009 and an $8.4 million payment for the 2010 tournament,” writes Paul Oresteen at Bluff Magazine.
Everest paid the WSOP for its role in the 2008 and 2009 tournaments, reports state, but is now seeking to pull out of the agreement before the 2010 WSOP begins.
“The lawsuit alleges that Harrah’s breached their contract when the ESPN French affiliate, RTL9, did not display the Everest Poker logo or branding and instead featured the logo of Full Tilt Poker – a prominent competitor of Everest,” the Bluff article explains.
But instead of negotiating an agreement to amend this error, Everest is choosing to leave the WSOP completely. That may be partially due to the fact that Everest doesn’t target U.S. players but predominantly European poker players. And while the WSOP is global, the Vegas-based event is still arguably much bigger in the U.S. than in Europe. Perhaps the deal wasn’t paying off for Everest in the long run.
If Everest is successful in nullifying the agreement, that’ll open up the high-profile WSOP sponsorship to a new online gaming brand. With premium media exposure on ESPN and other venues, it could be a great opportunity for another online poker brand to gain lots of new market share — and, perhaps needless to say, that could cause a bit of a shift in the U.S. online poker affiliate market.