KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The PGA Tour has sued a Lenexa-based company for breach of contract involving its sponsorship of the Web.com tour stop in Overland Park. The lawsuit, filed in Federal Court (Kansas) alleges that Digital Ally signed a five-year Title Sponsor Agreement with the Web.com tour, which at the time was being held at the Nicklaus Golf Club at Lions Gate in Overland Park.
The contract called for the local tour stop to be named the Digital Ally Open from 2015 through the 2019 event.
The lawsuit alleges that Digital Ally, a Lenexa-based manufacturer of digital cameras and video storage for law enforcement and other first responders, failed to pay its $190,000 annual sponsorship fee for the 2017 tournament, and failed to pay the $150,000 fee for the 2018 tournament.
The PGA is seeking $1.19 million for the compensatory damages the contract breach caused, along with court costs and interest.
Digital Ally CEO Stanton Ross says he has not seen the lawsuit, but says his company did not receive the benefits it expected from the agreement, and attempted to work out the differences with the PGA, which is headquartered in Florida.
Ross says Digital Ally “stepped up in a big way” and hopes the tournament succeeds. He says the lawsuit may spur a resumption of talks that he hopes will lead to an amicable agreement without further litigation.
Ross adds he wouldn’t rule out returning as the tournament sponsor if both sides could come together to resolve the issues. He says the PGA was aware his company was dealing with cash flow issues as it worked to defend patents in lawsuits, but he says the company is financially healthy now.
The Web.com tour is a tour run by the PGA for players attempting to qualify for the PGA’s top tour. The Kansas City stop also benefits local charities.
The 2019 Kansas City stop will be held May 6-12 at a new location, Blue Hills Country Club in Kansas City. It is now branded as the Web.com Tour KC Golf Classic.