Check out this story about a massive feud brewing between Nike and Reebok.
Nike, which takes over as the official NFL merchandise manufacturer on April 1st after Reebok held that distinction for the past 10 years, is not too pleased that Reebok took advantage of Tebow-mania hitting Broadway (the Denver Broncos traded Tim Tebow to the New York Jets on March 21st) by rushing a bunch of Jets jerseys with Tebow’s name and number to market before Reebok’s deal with the NFL expires on March 31st.
An injunction was issued yesterday prohibiting Reebok from selling any more Tebow/Jets merchandise and requiring Reebok to recall the offending Tebow merchandise. (Nike Inc. v. Reebok International Ltd., 12- cv-2275, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York).
I can see the ethics of both sides here. Nike thinks Reebok unfairly flooded the market with Tebow merchandise near the end of Reebok’s deal with the NFL in order to ensure that Reebok continues selling jerseys well after its contract expires. On the other hand, Reebok thinks that it was right and justified in producing Tebow merchandise to meet the instant demand created by the Tebow trade, since it was and continues to be (at least for a few more days) the official NFL merchandiser.
Who’s right? At least for now, U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel says it’s Nike. Should be a fun case to watch.