While Adidas, as a company, is denying this, Adidas executive Jim Gatto was among 10 men arrested by FBI agents in late September, following a two-year investigation into bribes and corruption in college basketball.
Because of this, Skechers filed a lawsuit stating the company was put at a disadvantage in getting athletes to wear their shoes because Adidas had secretly been making deals with athletes at big schools such as NC State and Kansas.
Skechers USA Inc.is taking aim at Adidas America Inc. for its allegedly questionable basketball recruitment tactics.
Specifically, Skechers claims that it incurred increased advertising costs, lost sales and other damages in excess of $75,000.
The allegations go on to say adidas created an appearance that top-caliber basketball players chose its products, when in reality the company "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".
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However, through its lawsuit, Skechers alleges that Adidas may be guilty of more misconduct.
So far, an Adidas spokesperson has called Skechers' complaint "frivolous and nonsensical".
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction barring Skechers from selling its Onix shoe, which Adidas said looked too much like its white Stan Smith shoe, its all-time best-seller with more than 40 million pairs sold.
In its case filed yesterday against Adidas, Skechers has requested a jury trial to address its claims about unfair competition. Skechers also feels that Adidas' funding is a simple workaround to actually paying the athletes upfront.