A New York judge has granted Nike’s request for a temporary restraining order, forcing Reebok to stop producing and selling Tim Tebow New York Jets jerseys.
Nike had filed suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New York, alleging that Reebok was illegally marketing the shirts. Reebok’s contract as the NFL’s apparel maker expires March 31; Nike’s contract with the league begins April 1 and Nike is accusing its competitor of making a late rush at sales after Tebow’s trade to New York. CNBC’s Darren Rovell first reported the ruling.
“We have filed a complaint relating to unauthorized use of Tim Tebow's name on New York Jets related apparel,” Nike said in a statement Wednesday. “Nike is authorized and licensed to use Tim Tebow's name on products. We have no further comment at this stage.”
An agreement with the league and with the NFL Players Association must be in place before players’ jerseys can be sold and the NFLPA agreement with Reebok expired March 1. Tebow jerseys went on sale quickly in New York stores and on the Jets and NFL online sites after Tebow was traded to the Jets late last week. He officially joined the team Monday.
Reebok said in a statement Wednesday:“Reebok was notified of the lawsuit only earlier today and had no prior knowledge of any dispute. At this time we still have not seen all the legal papers, and therefore, have no comment.”
The judge has not issued a final ruling.
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