Thursday, March 29, 2012
Updated: March 30, 1:32 PM ET
Tim Tebow in Nike-Reebok battle
ESPN.com news services
Nike won a temporary restraining order Wednesday night that stops Reebok from selling or manufacturing any Tim Tebow-related products.
Judge P. Kevin Castel of the Southern District of New York issued the order, saying a preliminary injunction hearing will take place April 4 in New York City.
Nike went to court on Wednesday claiming Reebok International Ltd. used Tebow's name on
Jets-related apparel without permission after it was announced last week that Tebow had been traded from the Denver Broncos to the Jets.
The Tebow trade occurred just before Nike officially replaces Reebok on Sunday as the supplier of NFL team uniforms.
The judge banned Reebok from selling any apparel with the name Tebow on it unless it was made by March 1 and was Broncos-related.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, claims Reebok misappropriated publicity rights, interfered with business relationships and unjustly enriched itself because it failed to get Tebow's permission before launching the new products.
Reebok, based in Canton, Mass., did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment on the restraining order. The lawsuit said Reebok did not respond to demands to cease Tebow apparel sales after a Tebow representative sent a letter to the company March 23.
Reebok is a subsidiary of adidas AG.
According to the lawsuit, new Nike-supplied uniforms for all 32 NFL teams will be unveiled next week in New York City, kicking off a five-year deal for Nike to be the league's exclusive provider of on-field apparel, including game uniforms and sideline apparel. Reebok had been the supplier for the past decade.
The lawsuit said demands for Tebow-related Jets apparel was intense last week during a normally subdued time for NFL merchandise sales.
It said Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., believes Reebok was shipping large volumes of Tebow-related apparel products to retailers for sale to the public this week, damaging Nike's ability to capitalize on a "unique and short-lived opportunity."
The lawsuit added it was unlikely a consumer who buys an unauthorized Tebow jersey or T-shirt from Reebok this week would purchase an authorized Tebow item from Nike next week.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.