There's a brand war raging (well, happening) and the battle ground is Mesut Ozil's feet. Ozil fans and foot fetishists may have noticed that the midfielder, now out of contract with Nike, has alternated between wearing his usual Swoosh (as he did in Real Madrid's match against Celta Vigo on Saturday) and all-white "phantom" adidas boots (as he did in Germany's match against Sweden last week). Though Ozil is apparently keen on making the switch to Nike's German rivals, the American brand had a clause in his deal that allows it the option to match any offer he gets from another company. And so his flirtation with adidas prompted Nike to file a lawsuit against him.
From Soccer Bible:
According to Özil and his representatives, no contract has been agreed with adidas. However the court has questioned Özil's motives to start wearing adidas boots, finding it unlikely that Özil would switch boot brands without a deal already being in place — athletes rarely leave a sponsor without having another lined up.
Any deal from another sponsorship brand has not been presented to Nike, meaning Özil is not fulfilling his contractual obligations. The court has ruled in favour of Nike and decided that Özil must outline any offer presented to him, therefore allowing Nike to come back with a new offer in return. Failure to do so will result in a €150,000 fine a day.
So as a result of that ruling, Ozil has been banned from wearing adidas branded boots for the 180-day period that Nike has the right to match all other offers, leaving him to wear either Nike or the blank adidas ones.
Meanwhile, if Nike and adidas are smart, they'll both start selling all-white designs in time for the holidays to capitalize on this.
- Sports & Recreation
- Mesut Ozil