Skechers has filed a federal court complaint against adidas in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California that includes counts for false advertising and unfair competition, and the entire complaint is founded on an allegation that adidas has been illegally paying players under the table in a way that has economically harmed Skechers.
Skechers USA Inc.is taking aim at Adidas America Inc. for its allegedly questionable basketball recruitment tactics.
An FBI investigation that launched last fall determined employees of Adidas were going to convey money to high school and college basketball athletes as well as their families, "in return for their endorsement with the company upon their turn to the professional ranks", writes CBS Sports' Kyle Boone.
Skechers has filed paperwork for a messy litigation battle with Adidas.
A spokesperson for Adidas called the lawsuit "frivolous and nonsensical". Also named in the documents were Adidas consultant Merl Code and Jonathan "Brad" Augustine, director of an amateur basketball league in Florida sponsored by Adidas.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling blocking Skechers from selling its Onix shoe. By contract, Skechers has considerably less of a profile in the world of basketball shoes, a fact underscored in its lawsuit, in which it noted its past endorsement deals with the likes of the Timberwolves' Jamal Crawford, NBA free agent Josh Smith and former all-stars Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. Skechers also is seeking compensation for damages and legal costs, and has requested an "award of the profits that Defendant Adidas unlawfully derived as a result of its wrongful conduct".