John John Florence: he doesn't drink Monster Energy anymore | Photo: WSL

John John Florence is suing the American beverage company Monster Energy for breach of a sponsorship agreement.

According to the New York Post, in January 2017, the two-time World Surf League (WSL) champion and the energy drink signed a three-year marketing deal worth $500,000 a year.

Florence would help promote the brand for $350,000, plus $150,000 for a multimedia production depicting the story behind the world title race.

The suit notes that Monster Energy used the surfer's image in its websites, social media channels, and in print and digital ad campaigns, but refused to pay any amount whatsoever.

The beverage conglomerate, which also controls the brands Burn, NOS, Full Throttle, Relentless, Mother and Mutant, alleges that John John hid "material facts" during the negotiations, and wouldn't have signed the contract if they knew "such representations by Florence were false."

Energy Drinks Take Over Surfing

The pro surfer claims that he experienced "embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress" after seeing his image plastered all over without his previous authorization.

Monster Energy currently sponsors a large number of surfers: Conner and Parker Coffin, Griffin Colapinto, Shane Dorian, Bobby Martinez, Chippa Wilson, Owen and Tyler Wright, Dion Agius, Filipe Toledo, Hiroto Ohhara, Frederico Morais, Nic Von Rupp, Ben Sanchis, William Aliotti, Gearoid McDaid, Jobe Harriss, Luis Diaz, Maud Le Car, Makua Rothman, and Brendon Gibbens.

The beverage company is also active other actions sports like skateboarding, wakeboarding, snowboarding, BMX, snowboarding, skiing, and mountain biking.

In 2017, Monster reported sales of $3.37 billion. It is the most popular energy drink in the United States, closely followed by Red Bull. Both brands are steadily becoming pro surfing's main sponsors.

The Coca-Cola Company owns 16.7 percent of Monster Energy.