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Nike Wins Culpepper Ad Injunction

July 13, 2002

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ A judge issued an injunction preventing Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper from doing an advertisement for sports apparel maker Reebok International, Ltd. until a lawsuit filed by rival Nike Inc. is settled.

After a marathon hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland, a judge issued an interim injunction pending a trial. No trial date has been set.

``The judge has directed that I not proceed with shooting a nationally televised commercial with Reebok while this litigation is pending,″ Culpepper told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. ``I am disappointed with that decision, but I am confident that the jury will reach a more favorable conclusion.″

In its complaint, Nike argues that Culpepper renewed his contract in October 2001, but violated that contract when he agreed to do an ad for Reebok.

The complaint says Culpepper gave Nike a right of first refusal when he signed his original contract in 2000.

Culpepper signed a multiyear contract with Reebok in October 2001, according to Nike’s complaint. Nike said it matched Reebok’s offer and, by its interpretation, renewed Culpepper’s contract.

Lee Weinstein, Nike director of communications, said Saturday that Nike was satisfied with the initial ruling.

``We are very pleased with the result,″ he said. ``We just want to have our contract honored.″

Telephone messages left at Reebok International, Ltd. were not immediately returned.

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