Nike Wins Lawsuit Against Mesut Ozil

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.

About Isaac Abraham

Isaac joined what was then Soccer Equipment Reviews in 2010 in need of a new pair of boots after losing his trusty adiPure III in a taxi - he has been writing for the site ever since. Based in Hong Kong, he is always on the lookout for unreleased boot spots, as well as new releases and generally interesting stories to cover.


  1. alejandro

    i support adidas

  2. lama

    i wouldn’t wear nike after they did that

  3. Footy Spy

    Typical big corporation mentality. America is a horribly litigious country!
    No chance Ozil will go back to Nike now.

  4. neymar

    just a random fact: he wears predator LZ’s in Fifa 13

  5. Ezut Mözil

    Just a random fact: He wears white boots in FIFA 13, the adizero’s he’s wearing in this article

  6. El Patriato

    nike being a big big c*nt there!! really lost my respect for them and yeah agree with foot spy on the mentality there!! next time when buying a boot i’ll think twice before gettin close to a nike boot!

  7. Who gives a poop?

  8. guest

    rules are rules. nike did ok

  9. Stormy

    lol if i ever become a professional footballer, i will never sign a boot contract, just to troll them. this is disgusting behavior, really. i would wear f50’s one game and vapors the next just to have everyone freaking out haha

    • Hondo

      Right on! It’s not as if the players are strapped for cash anyhow with their basic wage and need to pursue other avenues to generate income. I’d do the exact same thing and wear different boots game in game out based upon what the pitch feels like, what kind of condition I feel and what would suit me on said day. Although I’d never wear Nike boots-they irritate me with all their gimmickry and I’d more likely stick to anything k-leather in Adidas, Puma, (Adipure IVs, Copas, Puma King Finale SL, Evospeed 1 and so on) and also opting for Pantofola D’Oro on occasion.

  10. Jose Wenceslao Reyes

    @Footy Spy: I would have to say that you are wrong for putting an American comapany as the basis for American culture. Just because Nike is greedy does not mean that an entire country is greedy. If it is any consolidation I would have to say that I do not like Nike, even as an American myself.
    But for future reference, do not group the ideas of one particular group, with the ones of every one else. It is just inconsiderate and rather ignorant.
    As far as the contract with Ozil goes, I would move to someone else after the six month period is up. I would honestly wear a brand that offers good quality leather boots!

  11. alex

    I guess I’ll be the only one defending Nike. A contract is a contract and both parties have to abide by the terms. Both. Its not as if oil was powerless . All he had to do was inform Nike about his offer from Adidas then Nike would decide whether to match it or not. Its not definitive. As a free agent to to speak he has the option to choose either brand just as long as he told Nike about his negotiations. Then if he wants he can decline Nike and opt for adidss. That’s it. I know Nike is a big bad corporation but that doesn’t mean Nike doesn’t have a right to defend themselves. IMO Nike’s case is good and legit. I have a feeling some still don’t understand so I’ll say it again, Nike is not forcing ozill to wear Nike even after this case, all Nike wanted as for ozil to respect the clause in his contract. Ozil is not a bad guy nor a victim. If he wants to leave Nike then that’s fine, Henry aguero etc didn’t have an issue with their transfer. Ozil just needed to abide by his contract. Btw it seems kind of silly to say that just because Nike went to court the quality of their shoes sucks. I wonder if Adidas was in Nike’s place? I’m guessing they would receive support because they are not American.

    • Pronkers

      I’m with you. Ozil has a contract clause and is required by law to follow it. If you were in Nike’s position what would you do?? If he does not meet the legal contract he has his day in court. Its stupid to criticize Nike as they are just trying to hold a player to the document he signed. Oh and ozil played terrible in the Adidas shoes anyway.

  12. alex

    America is not represented by the morals of one country. Litigation happens world wide. People trying to sound smart by pegging stereotypes are horribly pathetic

  13. Can’t say I blame him for switching the lZs are very good boots

    But if he knew of that clause then he deserved what he got

    Which was no punishment whatsoever

    He’ll continue wearing Adidas and I can’t say I’d surprised if he signs a contract with them

  14. carlos

    it’s funny for Americans to be mad at the prospect of being called greedy. You are telling me you live here and you don’t think the American culture is all about being greedy. That is all they talk about and push everyday in school, TV, politics. “The free enterprise” “entrepreneurship and capitalism” etc. Don’t help your neighbor, if you do you are a communist. compete and be better, make more money. that’s the American dream

  15. Roberto

    Özil just switched to Pred LZ in halftime, wtf?!

  16. Tyler

    I’m a huge Nike fan, but they really need to cool off. This incident isn’t a good way to represent themselves and certainly deters future sponsored athletes.


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