A judge in Amsterdam has ruled in favour of Nike after the American sportswear giant took legal action against German international, Mesut Ozil, following the midfielder’s sudden switch into adidas boots.
The decision by the Dutch judge brings a bit of clarity to one of the most intriguing sponsorship sagas we’ve seen in a long while.
Ozil had eagle eyed boot spotters confused when he was spotted in the adidas Predator LZ over this summer, mainly since he was one of the main endorsers of Nike’s Vapor series. According to reports coming out of the Netherlands, Ozil was under contract with Nike until this July, after which no new contract was signed. Despite Ozil’s contract ending, a ‘matching right’ clause means that Nike holds the right to match any new sponsorship offer the player receives. For example if adidas decides to offer Ozil a sponsorship contract, Nike has the option to match this contract.
Contrary to what most people thought, Ozil has said that he has not signed any deal with adidas, and therefore is not contracted by any manufacturer. The Dutch court found this claim unlikely, and stated that it was unlikely that Ozil decided to wear the adidas Predator LZ without receiving any form of compensation. As a result, Ozil has been told that he must present Nike with any new offer he receives from other companies, so that the American company can consider whether or not they are willing to match this offer.
In the meantime, to prove that he does not in fact have a contract with adidas, the court has demanded that Ozil play in boots without a brand name for 180 days. Failure to abide by this rule will result in a 150,000 Euro fine. It’ll be extremely interesting to see if Ozil opts for a Nike, or adidas ‘brand-less’ boot, as it will give us a clue as to the direction he will be moving in. If Ozil’s boot choice before the court ruling is anything to go by, it could be that he’s switched back to Nike boots as he was spotted in the Mercurial Vapor VIII.
This is definitely not the last we’ll be hearing about Mesut Ozil’s sponsorship, so keep checking Soccer Reviews as we will keep you updated on everything we hear.