Nike Inc., based in Beaverton, Ore., said it plans to continue its support for Livestrong. Anheuser Busch and the sunglasses company Oakley have already pledged ongoing support for the organization. Anti Doping Agency released a massive report last week detailing allegations of widespread doping by Armstrong and his teams when he won the Tour de France seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005..
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) One of Ohio State’s most famous football stars sued the university Friday over a marketing program he says used athletes’ images without permission and robbed them of compensation.The antitrust complaint targets Ohio State marketing programs and contracts that promote the university using likenesses of athletes, including a Honda sponsored program of 64 banners hung around Ohio Stadium featuring photos of former players.In addition to Spielman, some of the other Ohio State greats whose pictures appear on those banners include running back Archie Griffin, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1974 and 1975; lineman Jim Stillwagon, who played on the 1968 national championship team; and Mike Doss, a safety who played on the 2002 national championship team.All are among the athletes Spielman is suing on behalf of, said Brian Duncan, a Columbus attorney who represents Spielman.The lawsuit names Ohio State and talent management giant IMG as defendants and names Honda and Nike as co conspirators. Nike is targeted for its “Legends of the Scarlet and Gray” vintage jersey licensing program and other apparel contracts with Ohio State.The lawsuit accuses the university and the companies of “unjust and monopolistic behaviors” and asks for compensation above $75,000, as is typical in such complaints, while noting Ohio State makes millions in revenue from merchandising programs involving ex athletes.”Former OSU student athletes do not share in these revenues even though they have never given informed consent to the widespread and continued commercial exploitation of their images,” the lawsuit said.The university is aware of the lawsuit and is reviewing it, athletic director Gene Smith said Friday.”We immensely value our relationships with all of our former student athletes,” Smith said in a statement.A message seeking comment was left with New York based IMG. Brian Strong, a spokesman for Beaverton, Oregon based Nike Inc., said Friday the company is aware of the lawsuit but doesn’t comment on pending litigation.Honda said it has a three decade old relationship with Ohio State, and “we hope this matter will be resolved quickly.”Spielman sued in his own right and on behalf of a newly formed company, Profectus Group Inc., created by ex Ohio State wrestling standout Mike DiSbato, representing former college athletes.