NEW YORK, Fashion Wire Daily
Nike’s supremacy on the basketball court is being challenged in the court of law by small Queens-based sportswear
company Game Over, who claims the sports apparel giant heisted its “Shakin” dance style for a series of popular commercials featuring several NBA stars. The multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed yesterday in Brooklyn Federal Court charges Nike and its advertising agency Wieden & Kennedy with copying the unique mix of breakdancing, flashy ball-handling and hip-hop music verbatim. The”Shakin'” program was created by Game Over as a marketing tool for its own sportswear.
Frederick Tecce, patent attorney for Game Over, called it a classic David and Goliath case. “Game Over created “Shakin'” and staged it in exhibitions and dance contests all over the country,” he said. “They’ve been featured on television several times in New York and used it to build a name for Game Over.”
Tecce also said Nike scouts had copped the dance moves after watching them at trade shows and dance competitions in Las Vegas, New York and other locales. Former St. Bonaventure University basketball player Eric Hicks founded Game Over in 1993 and introduced the hip-hop hoopster style three years ago at youth groups and sporting events. His company also sponsored competitions and high school tournaments. Last year, Hicks was profiled as a “Hometown Hero” by CBS affiliate “News 2” and featured, along with his program, on Fox’s “Good Day New York.” Nike launched its ad campaign in February of this year. “Eric Hicks and his partner devised a cost-efficient way to market their goods by sponsoring tournaments and the Shakin’ contests. Now, Nike comes along with all their billions and wipes out that unique thrust,” Tecce said.”This was a business dedicated in part to helping inner city youths, primarily through the Shakin’ program. Nike’s actions have impaired that goal by undermining both the identity and integrity of the contest sponsor.”