ABOUT THE CASE

Varsity (collectively Varsity Brands, LLC, Varsity Spirit, LLC, and Varsity Spirit Fashion & Supplies, LLC) is by far the largest producer of competitive cheer competitions and camps, and the largest seller of cheer uniforms and equipment in the United States.

Plaintiffs are parents of competitive cheer athletes who allege that Varsity and their co-defendants U.S. All Star Federation, Inc. (USASF); Jeff Webb; Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC; Charlesbank Equity Fund VII, Limited Partnership; Charlesbank Equity Fund VIII, Limited Partnership; Charlesbank Equity Fund IX, Limited Partnership; Bain Capital Private Equity, LP; Bain Capital Fund XII, L.P.; Bain Capital Fund (DE) XII, L.P.; and Bain Capital Fund (Lux) XII, SCSp have conspired to abuse Varsity’s market power to raise, fix, and stabilize the prices charged for Varsity competitions, camps, and apparel.  

As a result of Varsity’s alleged unlawful and anticompetitive behavior, class members have indirectly paid higher prices for cheer competitions, cheer apparel, and cheer camps, as well as related goods and services, and have thereby suffered, and continue to suffer, antitrust injury, while defendants have obtained millions of dollars in supracompetitive illegal profits. 

“When we think of competitive cheer, we think of healthy, fun activities that benefit our children’s lives. We don’t think of corporations abusing their monopoly power and dominance of this industry. Unfortunately, that’s what Varsity and their co-conspirators are engaged in here, forcing athletes and their families to pay inflated prices for Varsity’s competitions, camps, and uniforms. Without relief, cheer families will continue to be financially impacted by this monopolistic behavior,” said lead attorney Joseph Saveri.


TN-Courthouse

CASE UPDATES

On April 28, 2024, after nearly three-and-a-half years of hard-fought litigation, attorneys led by the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, LLP reached a proposed settlement with the defendants. The defendants include Varsity Brands, LLC; Varsity Spirit, LLC; Varsity Spirit Fashion & Supplies, LLC (collectively, Varsity); U.S. All Star Federation, Inc. (USASF); Jeff Webb; Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC; Charlesbank Equity Fund VII, Limited Partnership; Charlesbank Equity Fund VIII, Limited Partnership; Charlesbank Equity Fund IX, Limited Partnership; Bain Capital Private Equity, LP; Bain Capital Fund XII, L.P.; Bain Capital Fund (DE) XII, L.P.; and Bain Capital Fund (Lux) XII, SCSp. The proposed settlement provides, among other things, that in exchange for a release of plaintiffs’ claims, defendants will pay $82.5 million for the benefit of class members who resided in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. In addition, for the next five years, defendants will implement important changes to defendants’ business practices that plaintiffs had challenged as anticompetitive, including:  

  • not requiring cheer athletes to attend a Varsity camp as a prerequisite to competing in one of Varsity’s end-of-season national championship competitions;  
  • not offering or requiring exclusive purchasing arrangements as a condition for participation in the Varsity Family Plan, Network Program, or any rebate or discount program relating to cheer competitions; and  
  • not requiring participants in at least 35% of its Cheer Competitions to stay at Varsity-approved accommodations as a prerequisite to their participation in Varsity cheer competitions, including, without limitation, through Varsity’s Stay to Play or Stay Smart programs.  

These changes will provide significant relief to thousands of families who plaintiffs allege have overpaid for Varsity’s products for years. 

On May 13, 2024, plaintiffs filed their motion seeking preliminary approval of the settlement with the Court asking, among other things, for the Court to give notice of the proposed settlement and for the establishment of a settlement website. No hearing on the motion has been set. The proposed settlement anticipates that class members will be able to file claims for their purchasers and receive a pro rata portion of the settlement. 

Please contact the firm if:

  • You have paid for Varsity’s high competition fees, overpriced uniforms, camps, and inflated stay-to-play hotel charges
  • You have family members or friends who participate or have participated in cheer with a gym, a club, or through their school, and have paid Varsity’s prices for cheer competitions, uniforms, camps, equipment, or other fees and charges

Any information you provide will be kept strictly confidential as provided by law.


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