A few days ago we noticed a battle brewing between Chang Sung Jung and the makers of his popular Korean Zombie t-shirts, Tri-Coasta. Team KZ says they’re owed over 20k. Tri-Coasta admits they stopped paying him near the end of 2011 after he breached the terms of their agreement. Here’s Tri-Coasta owner Michelle Lee:
We repeatedly expressed our concern that he was doing nothing to keep his end of the contract. After numerous months of requesting photo shoots, social media mentions and just some form as recognition as a sponsor, we could no longer continue to pay a fighter who refused to acknowledge his sole apparel sponsor.
While Chan Sung did wear the Korean Zombie shirt for the first few weeks and a few times after that, the majority of the agreement was not fulfilled by him. Here are just a few of his contractual obligations that were not fulfilled and breaches of the agreement:
-Only a few months into the sponsorship, Chan Sung breached our contract by working for Kimurawear. The agreement clearly states that he will not endorse any other competing brand’s products.
-We provided him with shirts to sell for his own gain – at no profit to us. When asked if the shirts were sold, we were told he didn’t have them anymore – but were not sold.
-We asked Chan Sung for pictures wearing our products, interviews with media and social media interaction with his fans. Our requests were ignored; even when we offered to arrange photo shoots for him. Over the course of the contract, we received a total of three pictures, downloaded from the internet at low resolution and taken during his WEC days and prior.
Most people love the shirt and think it’s a gold mine. In fact, sales of the shirts on the Tri-Coasta website weren’t ever enough to pay his salary. His greatest shirt sales came during the first year of his WEC career in which Tri-Coasta was owned by someone else. His salary, while undeserved, was paid and well over 10 times the amount of his royalties due. But, due to the breach in contract, Tri-Coasta ceased payments and does not owe the fighter further compensation.
So if his salary was paid plus “well over 10 times the amount” he’s owed in royalties, why is Chan Sung Jung upset? As usual, the he said / she said isn’t doing much to establish who the true jerks are in this story. And where’s the fun if we don’t have someone to scapegoat and blame?