Nike has sued Reebok, according to the Financial Times for using quarterback Tim Tebow’s name on the back of New York Jets jerseys just days before Nike unveils its first football uniforms under a new sponsorship deal with the league.
It is claimed by Nike that Reebok has used last week’s transfer of Tebow to the Jets to “illegitimately” capture a final rush of jersey sales.
Marketing budgets to capture new ambassadors and media exposure are immence and Nike are masters at the timing of new product launches, they are the world’s biggest sporting goods maker by sales and it says in its lawsuit that Reebok is not authorised to use Tebow’s name on Jets products as it is damaging Nike’s business.
The NFL deal is expected to be a key driver of Nike’s sales growth this year in the US.
“The opportunity to sell the first Tebow-identified Jets apparel is a unique and shortlived opportunity,” Nike’s lawsuit claims.
“It is unlikely that a consumer who purchases an unauthorised Tebow-identified NFL jersey or T-shirt from Reebok this week will purchase an authorised Tebow jersey or T-shirt from Nike the following week.”