|Nike objects to Reebok selling Tim Tebow jerseys. (NFLShop.com)|
On April 3 in New York, Nike will introduce the new NFL uniforms, as they take over the apparel contract from Reebok. Reebok's contract ends with the NFL on April 1, but the closing isn't exactly going smoothly, as Nike just filed suit against Reebok for selling Tim Tebow jerseys.
Why? Because Tebow moved teams and Nike believes that Reebok only had the rights to sell their existing inventory, which would include players that changed teams via free agency or trade, like Tim Tebow, who is now a member of theJets.
“We have filed a complaint relating to unauthorized use of Tim Tebow's name on New York Jets related apparel," a Nike spokesman told CNBC's Darren Rovell. "Nike is authorized and licensed to use Tim Tebow's name on products. We have no further comment at this stage."
Per Kristi Dosh, ESPN's sports business reporter, Reebok has until April 1 to use the NFL logos, etc. However, their contract to use the NFLPA (read: the players' names) license expired on March 1.
Which means, as I understand it, that Reebok could still produce a "Jets QB #15" jersey, but usage of "Tebow" on the back of a Jets jersey could potentially violate the contract.
Dosh also reports that Nike is asking the court to enjoin (read: forcibly stop) Reebok from making further Tebow jerseys and could potentially seek treble (read: triple) damages if the court rules in their favor.
What makes this a huge deal is that lots of Tebow jerseys will be sold. However, Nike doesn't want Reebok stealing the Tebow market before unveiling the new jerseys on April 3. The Tebow market is, after all, a cash cow.