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Verbal Sponsorship Agreement

Discussion in 'Car Sales, Dealers, Repairs, Lemon Law' started by kartracer, Mar 6, 2004.

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  1. kartracer

    kartracer Law Topic Starter New Member

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    In July 2003 I was in the market to buy a new car. I am also a competetive Kart racer in my spare time. I was also looking for a sponsor for my kart racing.
    I thought that I would persue a sponsorship with a car dealership, since I will be spending $30K + (CDN) at their dealership for a new car.
    I had written out a proposal, (approx 2 pages long) which detailed my proposal for the sponsorship. In a nutshell, I would promote the dealership in several ways, and in turn they would sponsor me to race my kart for the next season for $2500. This is all based on the premise that I purchase a car from their dealership..

    While sitting with the sales manager discussing the sponsorship, he told me that he would like to make a deal on the car first, and then we would discuss the sponsorship after.
    I told him that we had to agree on the sponsorship, or I would not be buying a car from him.

    We then negotiated a $2,000 sponsorship in front of my wife and his assistant. We shook hands, he congratulated me and we went on to purchase a new car. I was feeling great. I was getting a shiney new car and a sponsor for my hobby. What a great day!
    The sales manager told me he would have my check ready on the same day that I was to take delivery of the car.

    On the delivery day, the check was not ready. Apparently the person with signing authority was not available to sign the check.
    I trusted the sales manager, and took delivery of the car.

    Week after week passed, with one excuse after another, why he could not get me the check. He said his boss didn't want to sponsor anyone for that sum of money.
    The sales manager then told me he would still get me the money, but it would be divided into 3 smaller checks. $750, $750 and $500 over the course of the next several months. I agreed that this was OK.

    After sending an e-mail reminder to him, for the first check, and not hearing any reply, I called the dealership to speak with the sales manager. (approx 12 weeks now since delivery of car)
    He no longer works there!
    Neither does his assistant who was a witness to the whole process.

    Now I am in discussions with the owner of the dealership for the $2000 sponsorship. He said that since it is not written into the contract, for the sale of the car, that he has no responsibility.
    He has offered a small settlement, which to me is very unsatisfactory.

    I have only one way correspondence to backup my proposal and agreement. The sales manager was very careful not to put anything in writing either on the contract or by e-mail. All of his correspondence was verbal.

    I also didn't negotiate too hard on the car! I was thrilled to get the sponsorship, and didn't want to push my new sponsor too hard on price. Now I've paid too much as well!

    Do I have a case in small claims court with the dealership?

    Out of the $2000 sponsorship, $300 to $400 was to be designated to making up decals and buying other materials to promote the dealer name on my kart and driving suit, so in reality, only $1600 to $1700 would actually make it into my racing expenses.

    Very Frustrated! :mad:
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    This is a difficult case but hopefully your correspondence will show that you were induced into purchase on the promise of the sponsorship. Did you pay for the car in entirety?

    It may pay for you to take them to court, especially if you have some evidence of the agreement and the fear of the owner that your suit will cast them in a bad light amongst its market -- the racing circuit.

    That said, it would seem very difficult for you to make your case without any other proof. I would never purchase anything of that nature without getting some type of guarantee in writing or other format. If the other party agrees to do something, why not memorialize it? If they are not willing to do so then you have to ask yourself why and perhaps to allow them to 'rethink' the deal and not perform...


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