CALIFORNIA: American shoe and apparel company, Skechers filed a federal court complaint on Wednesday against one of the fiercest rivals, adidas in California on the allegations of using false advertising and unfair competition as well as the German brand illegally bribing young, college basketball players to endorse their products which is in violation of the National Collegiate Athletic Association ('NCAA') rules.
According to a Forbes report, Skechers claimed that adidas was able funnel money to the families of the young players covertly in exchange of the players turning up for those schools and colleges sponsored by adidas.
"Adidas would have consumers, investors, and the public believe that hot, up-and-coming collegiate basketball players, as well as talented young players who move on to the National Basketball Association ('NBA'), choose adidas’s products due to their supposed superior performance and style," Skechers said in the complaint.
"In fact, however, adidas has coopted young players into wearing and expressly or implicitly endorsing its products by funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars in secret payments to players, their coaches, and/or family members in violation of National Collegiate Athletic Association ('NCAA') rules."
“Skechers and companies like it that seek to compete fairly within the bounds of the law have been gravely harmed by adidas’s massive, secret payments to young basketball players, not only in their athletic performance division but in all footwear categories in which they compete," “Skechers’ and other competitors’ basketball businesses cannot effectively compete for players’ footwear choices while they are amateurs—or for their endorsements when they turn professional—because adidas has sought to 'lock up' players by paying secret, illegal bribes to them and/or their families.", the company added.
adidas was quick to brush off the allegations in response. "The Skechers complaint is frivolous and nonsensical and should be summarily dismissed," an adidas spokesperson stated.