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Tebow-mania may spill over from the football field to the courtroom.
ESPN reports that Nike has filed a lawsuit against rival Reebok for allegedly selling unauthorized Tim Tebow merchandise. The swoosh-bearing company claims that its contract with the NFL Players Associations gives it exclusive dibs to capitalize on the popular-if-polarizing QB's brand now that it's reached the Big Apple.
The suit centers on the timing of Tebow's recent trade from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets, which CNN Money explains came at a rare time when no company actually had the rights to sell licensed NFL apparel baring both a team's name or logo and a player's:
That's because the rights deals are in the process of switching from Reebok to Nike. Two different agreements cover licensing: one for players' names, which switched over on March 1; and one for the NFL teams, which goes into effect on April 1.
But despite the oddly-time overlap, Reebok went ahead and pushed as many Tebow Jets jerseys and T-shirts onto the market last week as it possibly could, the Washington Post reports. And that has Nike calling for a flag.
"The opportunity to sell the first Tebow-identified Jets apparel is a unique and short-lived opportunity," the company wrote in its filing with a U.S. district court. "It is unlikely that a consumer who purchases an unauthorized Tebow-identified NFL jersey or t-shirt from Reebok this week will purchase an authorized Tebow jersey or t-shirt from Nike the following week."
Reebok has not commented on the suit.