A new rivalry in the basketball world has surfaced and it’s between two popular shoe companies.
An FBI investigation that launched last fall determined employees of Adidas were going to convey money to high school and college basketball athletes as well as their families. In exchange for the payments, these athletes were expected to sign with Adidas once they turned pro.
Because of this, Skechers filed a lawsuit stating the company was put at a disadvantage in getting athletes to wear their shoes because Adidas had secretly been making deals with athletes at big schools such as NC State and Kansas, per CBS Sports’ Kyle Boone.
According to the lawsuit obtained by CBS Sports, “illicit payments denied competitors like Skechers who play by the rules a fair opportunity to compete for the cachet of having trend-setting high-school and college athletes seen in their products.”
The lawsuit also claims that Adidas, “effectively blocked Skechers and other companies from competing on a level playing field for young, NBA-level endorsers, and unfairly bolstered consumer perceptions of adidas’s overall brand quality and image well beyond the basketball footwear market.”
Boone reports Skechers is looking for “recovery of Adidas’s ill-gotten profits, damages for lost sales and diminished brand value and increased advertising and marketing costs, and an injunction preventing Adidas from making further illegal, undisclosed endorsement payment to amateur basketball players”
It’s been a tough year for Adidas, and with the underbelly of college basketball’s sneaker-athlete marriage continuing to be laid bare, it might not get any easier for the shoe goliath.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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