The Rich Energy Sponsorship Saga

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TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
Red Bull are adding to Rich Energy's legal woes by suing them for trademark infringement. This is on top of the $35k that Rich Energy must pay Whyte Bikes for infringing their trademark, and the $35M that Rich Energy reportedly owe the Haas F1 team.

From the beginning of Rich Energy's relationship with F1 there have been questions about the source of their income. The executive board (including Justin King) certainly represented some big business nous and plenty of money, but maverick CEO William Storey seems to have divorced himself from that board, the company name, and possibly sanity itself.

RBGYW.jpg
 

AMPMROCKETFANN

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AMPMROCKETFANN
1. Rich Energy have been calling out Red Bull since day 1, so Red Bull suing them now is just perfect.
2. MJ popcorn gif anyone?
 

EngieDiesel

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Storey seems to be the textbook definition of a "disruptor" CEO. Copies Steve Jobs' abrasive personality without displaying any of the innovative qualities that Jobs had, tries to break into a long established and oversaturated market without bringing anything new to the table, and responds to criticism and financial scrutiny by ramping up the clown act in an attempt to deflect attention to their ego instead.

The main difference is that his investors are turning on him quite angrily, instead of blindly throwing more cash at him in the hope that the business will turn around Any Day Now.
 
1,107
gregc22
A few actual cans of the stuff did make it out into the wild, though it could equally have just been some Red Bull in a different can (for context, Harris has been following the whole saga with much the same combination of a- and bemusement as most of us)...



 

Northstar

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RokkitShipp
At this point it's going to take a whole law firm to sort this mess out. :lol:


 

DesertPenguin

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Just saw that. I really wish the race was this weekend so we could get the story moving along. Gotta wait until next Thursday or Friday's Pre-Race Interviews with Will Buxton to maybe get something out of this.
 
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So, silliness aside...what's the plan if suddenly Haas is out of money? Is that a possible outcome if the company implodes? Haas hasn't been blowing skirts up lately with their performance - is there anyone waiting in the wings to buy an actual F1 team?
 

EngieDiesel

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So, silliness aside...what's the plan if suddenly Haas is out of money? Is that a possible outcome if the company implodes? Haas hasn't been blowing skirts up lately with their performance - is there anyone waiting in the wings to buy an actual F1 team?
Pretty sure they'd just go back to self-sponsoring for the rest of the season if worse comes to worst. Gene Haas isn't living off investor money unlike Rich Energy, and no doubt he has more than enough lawyers to extract every last penny they're owed.
 

DesertPenguin

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DesertPenguin_
So after all that twitter nonsense the car is still in Rich Energy livery. I sure can't wait for the Netflix show next year!
 
20,678
TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
So after all that twitter nonsense the car is still in Rich Energy livery. I sure can't wait for the Netflix show next year!

I guess that if they took the livery off the car it would be tantamount to admitting the contract is over. Their legal position is that the contract remains valid and in place with monies due from Rich Energy.
 
20,678
TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
Is there any truth to any of the nonsense that's been on Twitter the last few weeks? Lightning Volt Energy is a joke account, but the Rich Energy twitter account was the one that made the bad photoshop of Storey driving a liveried van or something. What the hell is going on?

Storey, the Rich Energy CEO, or ex-CEO depending on who you believe, said the Haas was like a milk float (an electric vehicle that sloooowly delivers milk to houses). After the Silverstone Haas debacle Storey posted an epic piece of photoshoppery to reinforce his point. The original tweet seems to have been taken down but here's a cap. Try not to get skillz envy :)

D_cGODhW4AA3Ii3.jpg
 

EngieDiesel

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I guess that if they took the livery off the car it would be tantamount to admitting the contract is over. Their legal position is that the contract remains valid and in place with monies due from Rich Energy.
This makes me think Storey has been openly mocking Haas in the hope that they would do just that, then turn around and say "YOU broke the contract, now you owe US money!" Even though he claimed that Rich dumped them, running one's mouth on Twitter is hardly legally binding and I'm starting to question whether they even have the money for proper legal services. Or if they have any money, period.
 
20,678
TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
This makes me think Storey has been openly mocking Haas in the hope that they would do just that, then turn around and say "YOU broke the contract, now you owe US money!" Even though he claimed that Rich dumped them, running one's mouth on Twitter is hardly legally binding and I'm starting to question whether they even have the money for proper legal services. Or if they have any money, period.

The board certainly has money, the question is the extent to which Storey and the board are still connected. Storey claims to have transferred the Rich Energy IP to another company, the board say he can't do that. Storey might be an erratic git but some of the board members and backers have a heavyweight amount of business acumen and money behind them.
 

MikeV27

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veinzerrr
As a fan of Haas, I wish they didn’t even get mixed up with these clowns, they are probably stuck with Rich Energy in the team name until 2020 or else they might get screwed out of prize money if they change it before then.

How the hell did RE expect to buy Force India last year? Just lol.
 
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TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
As a fan of Haas, I wish they didn’t even get mixed up with these clowns, they are probably stuck with Rich Energy in the team name until 2020 or else they might get screwed out of prize money if they change it before then.

How the hell did RE expect to buy Force India last year? Just lol.

With the money. As keeps being repeated... the backers and board have/represent a great deal of money. Unfortunately they also have a wayward nutter as a CEO.
 

MikeV27

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veinzerrr
With the money. As keeps being repeated... the backers and board have/represent a great deal of money. Unfortunately they also have a wayward nutter as a CEO.

No way they had enough to keep a team funded though. That’s 150mil a year for a team like that.
 
20,678
TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
No way they had enough to keep a team funded though. That’s 150mil a year for a team like that.

Aside from the £80m income per year, Sullivan is a billionaire, Gold is worth half-a-billion, Justin King is nowhere near as rich but has had a lot of business success. Overall the board has the money and skill to operate the financial side successfully, if they choose to. It's the lone-wolf CEO (or ex CEO, or ex employee, or whatever Storey is now) that's the problem.