baby adidas tracksuit Adidas targets Nike over Sachin ads
Adidas, the sports good manufacturer, has dragged Nike, its competitor, to court over the use of Sachin Tendulkar’s images in advertisement campaigns. Adidas petitioned the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) on Friday over the use of Tendulkar’s images for endorsements when he is not playing for India.
An MRTPC bench headed by Justice OP Dwivedi accepted Adidas’s petition and sent notices to Nike India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Tendulkar and Iconix, the firm that manages Tendulkar. The respondents have three weeks’ time to reply to the notices served to them.
Adidas has alleged that Nike are violating Adidas’s exclusive personal endorsement agreement with Tendulkar. Adidas argued that Nike, who sponsor the Indian cricket team, have the right to use images of Tendulkar only when he is playing for the country.
“Sachin Tendulkar is our brand ambassador since 1997 and. is in public perception not only in India but globally too. What is the basis of their right,” Shailendra K Kapoor, the counsel for Adidas argued before the commission. “Nike tried to indicate that Sachin’s brand name was with them, which is an unfair trade practice by them. We are the exclusive owner of that brand name globally.”
Adidas also said it had previously sent Nike evidence of its exclusive endorsement rights with Tendulkar, and furnished a letter written by Tendulkar. In that letter Tendulkar states that he had signed an exclusive deal with Adidas and that Nike had no right to use him in their endorsements.
“Personal endorsement right was never subject to Nike’s contract with BCCI for sponsorship of Indian Cricket squad. for that they would have to deal with the cricketers independently,” said the counsel for Adidas, indicating that they would seek compensation from Nike.
When contacted, Nike did not wish to react to the story. “Nike has not been served with an official notice from the MRTPC regarding this matter. We are therefore not in a position to make any comment at this stage,” a Nike spokesperson told Cricinfo. “However, Nike believes its actions have been consistent with the rights granted by the BCCI.”