Tom Brady once had to sue General Motors in order to stop them from using his likeness without consent.
Tom Brady is the most winningest quarterback to every play in the NFL. He has won a staggering 7 Super Bowls, 6 with the New England Patriots and 1 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Success has followed him everywhere.
In his second season in the NFL, after riding the bench his first season, Brady led the Patriots to a Super Bowl win over the then Saint Louis Rams. He came in for an injured Drew Bledsoe in Week 2 against the New York Jets.
The Patriots went on to win 11 of the next 14 games with Brady under center. In the playoffs, after a controversial win against the Oakland Raiders, the Patriots beat the San Diego Chargers convincingly, 24-17.
So fun to re-live that. Amazing. Patriots hitting HARD on every play. https://t.co/AbGRhNX6I4
— David Wade (@davidwade) February 5, 2022
The Patriots never looked back from that point onwards. They went on to win the Super Bowl and establish one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history. When players like Brady deliver championships, endorsements and sponsors always follow.
Endorsement with General Motors turns bad causing a $2 million lawsuit in court
After winning Super Bowl XXXVI against the Rams, Brady took home Super Bowl MVP honors. Along with the trophy, he got a free Cadillac Escalade EXT for his play. Shortly after, Brady signed an endorsement deal with Cadillac in July of 2003.
This deal with Cadillac ran through January 1st of 2004. However, on January 30, General Motors, the parent of Cadillac, asked to use his name and photo in an advertisement. Brady refused.
Despite Brady not consenting, GM went on to use Brady’s likeness. Brady did not take immediate action as he was busy with the NFL season. He let it drag out for a while.
— NFL (@NFL) July 29, 2019
In 2005, after relations between two sides had worsened severely, Brady took General Motors to court. The lawsuit was based on GM continuing to use Brady in advertisements he did not approve of. GM said that the lawsuit was “disappointing and shocking” and the use was “accidental.”
Brady seeked $2 million in compensation from General Motors. A settlement was reached finally behind closed doors between Brady’s party and GM. The numbers have never been disclosed to the public.
Brady learnt his lesson early on when it came to endorsements that were not always what they seemed to be. Maybe that is why he is such a successful businessman and investor now.