Last week Nike was granted a temporary restraining order barring Reebok from selling apparel with Tim Tebow’s name on it. Today Reebok went before a judge and asked for that restraining order to be lifted, but the judge sided with Nike.
When Tebow was traded from the Broncos to the Jets, Reebok quickly went into action on printing Jets jerseys and T-shirts with Tebow’s name on them. Reebok says it sold about 6,000 jerseys and 25,000 T-shirts before the judge ordered a halt to the sales.
It’s not clear why Reebok thought it had the right to sell shirts with Tebow’s name on them. Reebok’s group licensing agreement with the NFL Players’ Association has expired, Nike is now the exclusive maker of NFL jerseys, and Tebow has a personal licensing deal with Nike as well. Nike’s original complaint against Tebow last week said that 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 products and that Reebok did not respond.
But the judge has made it clear that Reebok can’t sell Tebow apparel. Any remaining Reebok gear with Tebow’s name on it will never see the inside of a sporting goods store.