WATERLOO, WI (BRAIN)—John Burke, president of Trek Bicycle Corporation, told employees this morning that Trek has asked a federal court to terminate the company’s ongoing relationship with three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond.
“Beginning in 1995 we had high hopes for the LeMond partnership,” said John Burke, president of Trek Bicycle Corporation. ”And I am sorry it has come to this after so much hard work on the LeMond brand. But this troubling pattern of inconsistent business dealings forced us to do this, for the sake of the Trek family—our retailers, employees and customers.”
Since 1995, Trek has licensed the LeMond brand name and has produced road bicycles under the LeMond Racing Cycles name.
The licensing agreement was scheduled to expire in 2010. Burke met with LeMond last fall to notify him that Trek would live up to the contractual obligation but would not extend the relationship beyond that time.
LeMond responded by serving Trek with a 41-page suit on March 20. Burke characterized LeMond’s suit as containing false and irresponsible allegations that “forced us to immediately end our relationship with Greg.”
The action filed by Trek Bicycle Corporation against Greg LeMond asks that the relationship be terminated due to multiple breaches of the contract. The breach of contract claims are based on LeMond’s ongoing pattern of public statements and actions which Trek believes have been detrimental to the LeMond name and trademark, to the Trek brand as a whole, and to the Trek reputation in the global bicycle market.
“For years, Trek has tried our best to make this relationship work. And for years, Greg LeMond has done and said things that have damaged the LeMond brand and the Trek brand as a whole,” Burke said. “His actions are inconsistent with our values—values we believe in and live everyday. And after years of trying to make it work, we are done. It’s time to sever this relationship and allow Trek to do what it does best—build the world’s greatest bicycles and provide our customers with a great product and exceptional customer service.”