Kansas City Chiefs Sue Their Tequila Sponsor for $4 Million
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Kansas City Chiefs Are Suing Their Own Official Tequila Sponsor for $4 Million, Going Public With Messy Contract Dispute

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs have gone public with a lawsuit against Don Neron Tequila, exposing the details of their contract and its unfulfilled stipulations. (Photo: Lauren Bacho via AP)

The Kansas City Chiefs are embroiled in a $4 million lawsuit against their official tequila supplier Don Neron Spirits, alleging repeated missed payments and breach of contract.

The California-based spirits company first signed on to become the official tequila of the team for the 2022 to 2028 seasons, agreeing to pay a total of $4,075,614. In Jackson County Circuit Court, the Chiefs allege that the tequila brand paid its first installment of $180,000 several months late and then failed to pay the next two.

Despite outstanding missed payments with the Chiefs, Don Neron inked a separate 5-year deal with Sporting Kansas City soccer club in October 2022, complete with custom Sporting-branded tequila bottles available exclusively within the team’s Children’s Mercy Park stadium.

Alcohol-sports team sponsorships are ubiquitous within the industry — from 1800 Tequila to Bud Light, alcohol brands are the single biggest advertising partner of the NFL. But the exact details of those years-long deals are rarely made public. At least until now.

In the lawsuit, the Chiefs divulged the stipulations of their agreement with Don Neron.

The partnership required that the Chiefs include Don Neron’s logo in social media videos, menu signage and re-branded bars within the stadium. The agreement also required that the Chiefs display Don Neron’s logo “on a wing of the ArrowVision video board for a total of one minute” during games.

Another unique perk applied to the NFL players themselves. Each season, the Chiefs were required to pick a member of its ambassador team to make one-hour appearances at Don Neron promotional events in grocery stores around the region.

Now that the contract has been terminated, none of that will be happening. The initial hearing for the case is set to occur in August.

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Pedro Wolfe is the managing editor of Tequila Raiders. With several years of experience writing for the New York Daily News and the Foothills Business Daily under his belt, Pedro aims to combine quality reviews and recipes with incisive articles on the cutting edge of the tequila world. Pedro has traveled to the heartland of the spirits industry in Tequila, Mexico, and has conducted interviews with agave spirits veterans throughout Mexico, South Africa and California. Through this diverse approach, Tequila Raiders aims to celebrate not only tequila but the rich tapestry of agave spirits that spans mezcal, raicilla, bacanora, pulque and so much more.