Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Adidas Logo War Against ITF and the 4 Slams

The Tennis World may be abuzz with news about the "inequality in pay at Wimbledon" but i think this piece of news warranted atleast a little view.

Henman, Sir Cliff and Wimbledon sued in logo war

By Paul Newman
Published: 26 April 2006

Tim Henman is used to receiving substantial backing from adidas, but if his sponsors have their way the four-times Wimbledon semi-finalist will soon be writing out a cheque to them.

Henman, along with Roger Federer, Venus Williams, Sir Cliff Richard, the Duke of Kent and their 1,000 fellow members of the All England Club, are being sued by adidas in a dispute over the use of the distinctive "three stripes" which the kit manufacturer uses on its sportswear.

In London next month adidas will go to the High Court to challenge a decision by Wimbledon and the French, Australian and US Opens to restrict the size of the three stripes on kit worn by players. Henman, Andre Agassi, Martina Hingis and Justine Henin-Hardenne are among the leading players sponsored by adidas, which is suing the International Tennis Federation, the four Grand Slam tournaments and the individual members of the All England Club.

Tim Phillips, the Wimbledon chairman, is sending out a letter this week to the club's 375 full members and 600-plus associate members informing them that adidas is seeking both an injunction to prevent the new rule being applied at this year's championships and damages incurred as a consequence of the rule. Henman is a Wimbledon member, as are all the men's and women's champions, including his fellow adidas players Hingis and Agassi.

Some other manufacturers have felt that adidas has enjoyed an unfair advantage. At last year's Masters Series tournament in Rome, Nike made a point when one of its players, Rafael Nadal, wore a shirt with a logo - the "swoosh" - many times larger than permitted.

Originally notified of the change in May last year, adidas were eventually given until 26 June this year - the first day of the Wimbledon championships - to comply. However, the company has now decided to go to court.

The company claims that the rule "discriminates against adidas and infringes elementary EU competition rights". The company said the three stripes running down shirt sleeves and shorts were not a standard logo. It said its official logo consisted of three stripes in a pyramid with "adidas" written underneath.


No comments: