Fighting over which company gets to make full use of a professional athlete’s image, fame and huge number of fans is petty even when it comes to Nike and Reebok. Their suit over which is going to sell Tebow jerseys might have reached an end, but fans aren’t going to simply forget how easy these huge companies revealed their true faces of money avid corporations fighting over the last penny.
Today the terms of the settlement in the Nike suit against Reebok have finally been disclosed. Apparently, Reebok eventually had to give in and agree with Nike’s request to stop selling Tebow jerseys and T-shirts. Moreover, the company will have to recall all the branded Tebow products from its stores that have been manufactured after the quarterback had been traded to the Jets. According to the judge orders, Reebok will even have to repurchase any of the Tebow products it had already sold to retailers.
The legal action was initiated in Manhattan, with Nike claiming that Reebok was infringing its licensing rights and a federal judge agreed. Even before the legal action would be initiated, experts said that Nike was going to win it by far. The company has become the legitimate owner of licensing rights for the National Football League apparel earlier this month.
Reebok’s licensing rights for the National Football League merchandise expired at the end of February and others, for NFL jerseys, expired March 31. The company worked under the impression that it would be able to sell Tebow jerseys for a little more time, but that exception applies only to those jerseys produced while the quarterback was still with the Denver Broncos.
Mary Remuzzi, spokeswoman for Nike, said the company is “pleased to have reached a mutually agreeable resolution”. The company became the league’s official provided after it paid $1.1 billion for the licensing rights. Nike had already unveiled its new line of NFL dedicated jerseys which is expected to be available for sale later this month.
Tim Tebow, now quarterback at the Jets, was transferred last month from the Broncos, the team he had been with for several years, since 2005. The two time national champion has been traded to Jets to be backup quarterback.