A 2020 antitrust case filed in the Western District of Tennessee by parents of competitive cheerleaders alleged that Varsity Brands LLC, acting in concert with other associated entities and individuals, “conspired to raise, fix, and stabilize the prices charged associated with Competitive Cheer.” In 2018, Bain Capital Private Equity purchased Varsity Brands, LLC. The complaint alleges that Bain Capital’s funding “enhance[d], extend[ed], and ensure[d] Varsity Brands’ monopoly power and obtained financial rewards and benefits from having done so[.]” Based on expert reports submitted with plaintiffs’ recent motion for class certification, plaintiffs may claim up to 27% overcharges that have been passed onto competitive cheer participants and their families in connection with alleged antitrust violations.
While the ultimate disposition of the case could be years away, the future of competitive cheer may hang in the balance. Attorneys in KJK’s Student Athlete Defense practice group will continue to follow the development of this and other cases that impact student athletics. For more information or to discuss further, please contact Susan Stone (SCS@kjk.com; 216.736.7220), Kristina Supler (KWS@kjk.com; 216.736.7217), or Anna Bullock (AEB@kjk.com; 216.736.7223)
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