Football boot brands Nike and Puma have today hit back following the row over which brands’ football boots Arsenal and Czech Republic international footballer Tomas Rosicky is contracted to wear.
On Tuesday, we reported here on Footy Boots that Nike have sued Rosicky for breach of contract after he signed a deal to wear Puma football boots. Nike have since argued that they had already declared their intention to re-sign the Total 90 Supremacy football boot wearer by sending written notice to himself and his agent, Pavel Paska.
We reported that Rosicky had been wearing Puma v-Konstrukt II football boots in the pre-season Amsterdam Tournament, though had been sporting blacked out football boots in subsequent premiership games.
Leo Sandino Taylor, Nike’s UK PR Manager, spoke exclusively to Footy-Boots.com:
“Nike EMEA feels supported in its rights by the decision of the English Court prohibiting Tomas Rosicky from endorsing sports products other than Nike and from wearing boots on which non-Nike branding is visible.
Nike has also commenced legal proceedings against the Czech football player Tomas Rosicky in the Netherlands, arguing that the player has breached his legal obligations with Nike. In particular, he infringed exclusive endorsement rights by wearing competitor products during the English Premier League pre-season. The UK court order will stay in effect until a subsequent decision of the Dutch court, scheduled for September.
Nike respects the rights of athletes and their sponsors and fully expects its competitors to do the same regarding those athletes who have chosen to wear our products.”
To get Puma’s take on the football boot issue, we tracked down Filip Trulsson, Puma’s International Teamsport Business Unit Manager, in Germany. Trulsson was more guarded in his response but had the following words to say to Footy-Boots.com.
“As you can expect, we do not comment on legal issues, especially not, since this is a case between his former supplier and the player. That said, Tomas obviously has our full support since he is currently under contract with Puma.”
This issue highlights the importance football boot brands put in their player sponsorships. With the dispute now being taken to the courts, it will be interesting to see Rosicky’s choice of football boot when he next features for Arsenal.