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Broncos given green light to axe Sports Authority deal

NFL American football franchise the Denver Broncos has been given permission by the US Bankruptcy Court to terminate its sponsorship contract with sporting goods retail store chain Sports Authority.

The reigning Super Bowl champion began its partnership with Sports Authority in August 2011, with the company serving as the team’s exclusive retail sporting goods sponsor.

Court records show that the deal is valued at more than $55.3m (€49m), but the Denver Post newspaper has reported that Sports Authority owes the Broncos $36m.

The team last month filed a motion to terminate the agreement. Sports Authority, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, had also wanted to end the contract.

The newspaper said that the termination would not have an impact upon a separate deal between Sports Authority and the Denver Metropolitan Football Stadium District, under which the company has the naming rights to Mile High Stadium, the Broncos’ home field.

Sports Authority is in the process of auctioning off the naming rights and has appointed Hilco Streambank to assist with the process. However, the Stadium District has filed a protest of its own in the bankruptcy court to seek first right of refusal should Sports Authority identify a new naming rights partner.