The lawsuit filed by Nike against Reebok arises from a fairly simple set of facts. Nike contends that, as of March 1, 2012, the group licensing agreement between Reebok and the NFLPA expired. Since Tebow’s own personal show/apparel deal was negotiated with Nike in 2010, Nike claims that Reebok had no right to use Tebow’s name when manufacturing and selling Jets T-shirts and jerseys last week.
There’s no middle ground on this issue. Either Reebok had the right to sell jerseys with Tebow’s name on them, or Reebok didn’t.
Which explains why a judge has granted a temporary restraining order blocking the sale of the Reebok Tebow jerseys, according to Darren Rovell of CNBC. The TRO is based on the information provided by Nike. At some point, Reebok will have a chance to be heard.
Until then, Reebok must stop making and/or selling Tebow jerseys. The NFL apparently hasn’t gotten the memo yet; as of this posting, Reebok-manufactured Tebow jerseys continue to be available for sale via the NFL’s official online store.
Tebow also has been involved in this battle between billion-dollar shoe and clothing companies. The 19-page complaint alleges that, as of Friday, March 23, an “authorized representative of Tebow” sent a letter to Reebok informing the company that it had no right to use Tebow’s name on any Reebok-manufactured products. As of Monday, March 26, Reebok allegedly did not respond.
At some point, Reebok will have to respond, even if their response essentially amounts to saying, “Oops.”