Prevent Defense Works For Nike

Two weeks ago I posted about the battle between Nike and Reebok over Reebok’s right to sell Tim Tebow Jets jerseys. Reebok, whose exclusive contract with the NFL was set to expire at the end of March, had tried to get Tebow jerseys out as soon as possible to take advantage of his signing with the Jets. Nike pointed out that while Reebok still had the rights to produce team jerseys through March, its contract with the NFL Players Association to use player names had expired on February 28. That meant that Reebok could produce Jets Jerseys, but couldn’t put Tebow’s name on it. As of the time I wrote the blog post, a federal court had issued a temporary restraining order against Reebok. Since that time, Reebok essentially conceded the point and agreed to settle. Under that deal, Reebok will recall New York Jets apparel featuring Tebow’s name and number from its distribution system and agree to repurchase shipped Tebow Jets merchandise from retailers. Reebok also agreed not to manufacture, market, donate or advertise such merchandise. Actually, considering that Nike just filed this case in mid-March, this might be an example of a hurry up offense, more than a prevent defense. But it’s pretty clear who won. This one goes to the swoosh.