California sports fans might be interested in learning about a recent lawsuit that was filed by Skechers against Adidas for unfair competition and false advertising. The lawsuit was filed on May 10 in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
According to the complaint, Adidas engaged in a scheme through which it secretly funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to high school basketball players and their families so that the athletes would wear its products. The players were also allegedly induced to sign with colleges that were sponsored by Adidas and sign endorsements for the company after they were drafted by the National Basketball Association.
In September 2017, an Adidas executive and employee were arrested following a federal investigation. They were charged with bribing young players to endorse Adidas. In response, Skechers is seeking damages for its lost sales and its diminished brand value. It is also seeking to recover profits and asking for an injunction against Adidas to prevent the company from making illegal payments to players in the future. Adidas has countered that the lawsuit is frivolous.
Companies that engage in deceptive business practices that result in economic injury to others may be liable to pay damages in unfair competition lawsuits. In this case, the illegal payments that Adidas made to young, talented players and their families may have led to more people purchasing its shoes at the expense of Skechers. Businesses that believe other businesses have engaged in deceptive practices that have caused them harm might want to talk to experienced business law attorneys. The lawyers may investigate the claims and help their clients build strong cases that show clear liability.