A little more than a week after Nike sued rival athletic wear maker Reebok over its sale of unauthorized apparel featuring National Football League quarterback Tim Tebow, it has prevailed. A federal judge in New York has issued a preliminary injunction stopping Reebok from selling the jerseys and T-shirts featuring Tebow’s name and number in conjunction with his new team, the New York Jets.
Tebow, one of the most talked-about players in the NFL, was traded from the Denver Broncos to the Jets on March 21, and although Reebok’s authorization to sell NFL jerseys and gear had already expired, Nike claimed the company tried to capitalize on the “short-lived intense consumer appetite for such products” that came about as a result of the trade.
Tebow’s Broncos jersey was one of the top-selling NFL jerseys before his move to the jets, Reuters reports, and an ESPN poll in January rated him as the favorite professional athlete in the U.S. The judge in this case ruled that monetary damages alone would not give Nike its due, because as of April 1, the company had an exclusive deal to sell NFL-related apparel, and the unauthorized sales would cause Tebow to be associated with Reebok instead of Nike. "It is a minor hardship for New York Jets and Tim Tebow fans to have to wait to get their jerseys," the court wrote.