A Massachusetts sportswear company is suing Nike, Inc. and the NBA Hall of Fame, claiming breach of contract and fraud related to the sale of sportswear linked to Michael Jordan's upcoming induction into the Hall. SportsFuzion claims that since 2006, it has been the owner of the exclusive worldwide rights to the Hall of Fame’s trade names, logos, trademarks, designs, and photos for use in sportswear through 2012.


The lawsuit arrives as Nike has come up with a viral marketing campaign around Michael Jordan's induction to the Hall of Fame, which is scheduled for September. A microsite, www.getyourbasketballon.com, features several videos of a fictitious character – Leroy Smith – who supposedly inspired Michael Jordan to greatness. SportsFuzion estimated that NIKE could sell over $100 million of Michael Jordan Hall of Fame products worldwide. SportsFuzion is seeking more than $10 million in general and punitive damages from Nike and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.

In a statement, SportsFuzion said that more than three years ago, it had created a detailed marketing plan around a product line for Michael Jordan’s induction into the Hall of Fame and entered into the exclusive worldwide license agreement with the NBA. The NBA then set up numerous meetings with Adidas/Reebok, Mitchell & Ness and others regarding potential partnerships. Beginning in the Fall 2006, SportsFuzion met multiple times with top executives from Nike's Brand Jordan unit. 


In January 2008, the Hall of Fame contacted SportsFuzion to “renegotiate” its contract but no renegotiations occurred.
Nike officials said they were reviewing the complaint but believed the case had no merit.