The frenzy over Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow has reached Nike and Reebok.
Nike Inc. claimed in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that Reebok International Ltd. has used Tebow’s name on Jets-related apparel without permission since it was announced last week that Tebow was traded from the Denver Broncos to New York.
The Tebow trade occurred just before Nike replaces Reebok on Sunday as the supplier of NFL team uniforms.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, claims that Reebok misappropriated publicity rights, interfered with business relationships and unjustly enriched itself because it failed to get Tebow’s permission before launching the new products.
Reebok, based in Canton, Mass., did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment. The lawsuit said Reebok did not respond to demands to cease Tebow apparel sales after a Tebow representative sent a letter to the company on Friday.
Reebok is a subsidiary of Adidas AG.