It appears that New York Jets fans who want Tim Tebow jerseys will have to wait a little longer before they can stock up on gear featuring the team’s new “backup quarterback.” Reebok International Ltd., which had hoped to cash in on Tebow mania after he was traded to New York in March, has agreed to recall and repurchase from retailers any of its Jets apparel featuring Tebow. This is part of a settlement with rival Nike Inc. As you may already know, Nike, which became the National Football League’s official jersey supplier in April, sued Reebok in March after the unit Adidas AG began offering Jets jerseys and T-shirts featuring Tebow’s name and number.
Reebok previously had separate agreements with the NFL and its players to sell player apparel, but those agreements have since expired. A sell-off provision in those agreements gives Reebok a limited window to sell its remaining stock of NFL jerseys and apparel, such as Tebow’s jerseys from his old team, the Denver Broncos. The apparel maker had hoped to add Tebow’s name and number to its existing inventory of blank Jets jerseys and other apparel after he was traded to New York, and had considered doing the same for Peyton Manning and other traded players.
Nike, said to have paid more than $1 billion for the right to be the league’s official supplier, challenged the move in court. Nike said Reebok had no right to use the Tebow name in this manner and that it would hurt Nike’s chances to sell official Jets gear to Tebow fans. Nike, which has unveiled its redesigned line of NFL jerseys, had its line of NFL apparel ready for sale on April 26th, the first day of the NFL draft. As do all good companies – after a battle in court – Reebok and Nike said that they were “pleased to have reached a mutually agreeable resolution.”
Source: Wall Street Journal
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