New Delhi: Raising the cudgels against Nike, Adidas on 25 May petitioned MRTPC seeking to restrain India’s cricket board BCCI and its sports apparel rival from using images of Sachin Tendulkar for promotions when he is not playing for the country.
At the same time, it asked the fair trade practices body to direct Tendulkar to furnish an undertaking that he personally endorsed Adidas, although Nike sponsored Indian cricket team’s on-field uniform.
During the proceedings, Adidas argued that BCCI granted Nike only sponsorship and licensing rights and to carry trademarks of the batsman only while playing for the country.
The company’s counsel Shailendra K Kapoor argued that personal endorsement rights were never a subject to this contract (between BCCI and Nike).
Nike has no right to use Sachin Tendulkar’s name for endorsements, he argued.
In its petition, Adidas had made BCCI, Nike, Tendulkar and his manager Iconix respondents.
The counsel contended that Tendulkar and Iconix were only performa respondents and were made party to the case to state before the commission that he has exclusive personal endorsement rights only with Adidas.
However, declining any immediate relief to Adidas, MRTPC Chairman OP Dwivedi and member MMK Sardana said: ”When you have waited for six months, then wait for one more month”.
The commission has listed the matter for hearing in July.
BCCI has a five-year contract with its rival Nike for the team uniform. Nike had won the sponsorship rights for the Indian cricket team in 2005 with a bid of Rs 199.66 crore, beating Reebok whose bid stood at Rs 119.48 crore and Adidas Rs 127.50 crore.