- (Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar)
Tim Tebow, the New York Jets' newest quarterback, is at the center of a legal battle between clothing and apparel brands Nike and Reebok that has resulted in a court-issued restraining order.
Tebow, 24, was the center of controversy during his first week in New York when Nike Inc. requested a restraining order against Reebok International for selling the quarterback's official Jets jerseys. The NFL licensing agreement with Reebok will officially end on March 31, in which time Nike will take over as the official supplier of the league's apparel.
However, Reebok has begun printing and distributing Jets jerseys with Tebow's name on them, which has resulted in U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel ruling in favor of Nike in a Manhattan court on Wednesday. The judge's ruling included a restraining order that temporarily blocks Adidas and Reebok from creating apparel with Tebow's name on it.
Although Castel ruled that Reebok would have to halt the manufacturing, sale and marketing of Jets products with Tebow's name on them, he did not make a ruling about Denver jerseys featuring the quarterback's name. However, a hearing concerning the matter has been scheduled for April 4 in Manhattan.
While the sporting apparel companies have been battling for the right to Tebow's name, stores around New York City have been attempting to fill the high demand for the quarterback's number 15 jerseys. However, the switch to Nike as the sole NFL official apparel supplier may result in fans waiting for at least another month to acquire new Tebow jerseys.
The demand for the Christian athlete's jerseys was made evident when a reported 1,000 units of the Nike-created jerseys were sold out of New York City's Modell stores in an hour. Tebow fans will be able to get their Jets jerseys with his name printed on them when they go on pre-sale April 15 and begin shipping April 26, the Jets' online store states.